Thursday, February 19, 2015

CDNetworks Recommends 5 Website Speed Test Tools for Optimizing Web Performance

Speed is a critical element of running a successful website and should always be a priority for site managers. In addition to providing a lag-free and responsive user experience, a fast loading website also has a direct impact on the overall performance of the website.  Faster loading websites benefit from better user engagement, higher conversion rates, higher SEO rankings and much more.
Improving website speed is critical, but it can be a daunting process that involves many moving parts between onsite optimization to network and accessibility configurations. However, if performance truly matters, you have no choice but to take it on one step at a time.  A good place to start would be to run some tests and find out how fast your site really is.
After experimenting with various website speed test tools, CDNetworks has narrowed it down to these five as the recommended tools based on usability, accessibility and how comprehensive the reports are.
Google PageSpeed Insights grades both the desktop and mobile site speeds. The tool fetches the URL twice, once from a desktop agent and once from a mobile agent, and produces a 'site rank' based on a scale of 1 -100. The higher the number, the better optimized your site is for speed (at least in Google's eyes). A returned scored of 85 or higher indicates the site's speed is performing well.
There is also a Chrome extension available, which allows assessment of any page from the Developers Page Speed tab. PageSpeed Insights provides a balanced overview of site speed and actions to take in order to improve page performance and the site as a whole.
PageScoring's Website Speed Test loads the entered domain and provides a comprehensive display of how long its contents took to load. As seen in the screenshot, PageScoring reports on several transmittal processes that occur during a website request, including domain lookup, redirection time, download time and much more.
This is an effective tool for measuring performance in real time and provides webmasters with valuable site performance information that isolates individual pieces of data.
Pingdom is a free testing tool that produces a wealth of information on a site's speed performance. In addition to an overall speed grade, the tools also provide visual depictions of the length of time required for each site element to load. The Page Analysis tab gets into HTTP server response codes, which provides more in depth data for not only examining site speed, but also the overall health of your site. One of the factors that makes Pingdom a unique service is its ability to effectively monitor websites from multiple locations around the globe to separate downtime from routing and/or accessibility issues.
GTMetrix goes into extensive detail (cross-checking PageSpeed with YSlow metrics), showing the user a complete history of a site's page load times. The site offers a number of monitoring tools including a video playback feature (to pinpoint where bottlenecks occurred) and a variety of reporting options. GTMetrix also allows users to export the entire test history to a CSV file.
WebPagetest offers the unique features of allowing users to specify locations and browsers for the test. This is important for global websites as they target many different geographical regions, and users in different parts of the world prefer different browsers.
Final Thoughts
There is a wide selection of website speed test tools available and many variables that can determine which tool is best for testing your site. However if you are looking for something that is easy to use and produces a comprehensive report,CDNetworks recommends starting with one of the five tools on this list.

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