Speed can make or break your website. That’s why web developers, marketers, and IT departments alike are paying attention to website speed testing tools. Improving your webpage loading speed can have a dramatic effect on the overall success of your site.
Page speed influences your performance in nearly every arena, from user experience to search engine optimization. In fact, most website users will only wait about four seconds for a page to load before moving on to something else.
And there’s no getting around the fact that a faster website is going to perform better. But knowing where to start can be difficult.
Sitting by your computer with a stopwatch as your website loads is not a great way to determine whether your website is fast enough. That’s why most developers and marketers will take advantage of a wide variety of free website speed test tools.
These tools are always changing and always updating. So the top 10 free website speed test tools of 2020 are going to include a few new favorites!
Among the premier free website speed test tools of 2019 is GTmetrix. This tester is incredibly straightforward. You just put your URL in and hit “Analyze.” GTmetrix’s strengths include:
Verdict: GTMetrix does offer a Pro level upgrade that grants access to page settings, monitoring, and alerts, among other benefits. But the test itself is free and you can easily download the data. GTmetrix is also very user-friendly, making it one of the best page speed tools of 2019.
Our next entry on the list probably isn’t going to win any web design awards in the near future. WebPageTest, however, is one of the more reliable and trusted website speed testing tools available to users today. The primary strengths of WebPageTest include:
Verdict: WebPageTest is both open source and free. That means it’s not flashy, and the results and diagnostics aren’t very user-friendly. But the data is accurate. And if you know what you’re doing, WebPageTest can give you a wealth of information to consider.
Compared to the other 9 entries on this list, Google PageSpeed Insights isn’t going to provide a lot of data or suggestions on how to fix problems. In fact, it’s not really a true page speed testing tool. But there are some reasons why it’s still worth checking out this Google-built tool:
Verdict: If it weren’t the official Google tool, PageSpeed Insights might not be on this list. It just doesn’t have all the features that the other tools on our list have. But you definitely want to check on how Google evaluates your page speed if you want to rank highly on their search platform. In this case, the authority of the tool eclipses its utility.
For the most part, Pingdom provides users with a nice mix of options and simplicity. As such, Pingdom offers the following benefits:
Verdict: Pingdom is a deceptively deep webpage speed tester. Its interface is simple and easy to use. The data generated is well-organized and easy to skim or dive deep into the details. Pingdom is a great tool to provide a client facing report while also giving your developer information specific enough to address problems.
At first glance, the Dareboost webpage speed tester looks like all the others. In some ways, that’s good. It’s easy to put in your web address and choose a test location and start your test.
But Dareboost is also a little tricky. If you’ve already used the service once, you’ll need to sign up for a free account in order to keep using it. It’s usually worth it; but don’t be shocked if you swing back to Dareboost and have to create a username. That said, Dareboost definitely offers some interesting features:
Verdict: Dareboost definitely brings some interesting features to the table, and their data visualization is a great way to interpret your results. Having to sign up for a free account may turn some people away, but it’s hard to argue with the value of the service.
Modern websites are image-heavy. And with so many people using high definition displays and retina screens, it’s really difficult to get away with low-resolution pictures. That’s why image compression has become ubiquitous. And to test those images, I recommend the Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool, powered by Cloudinary. This tool:
Verdict: The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool is one of the only tools to focus entirely on images. With a more visual web coming our way in the future, this tester is an essential tool to have in your kit.
I mentioned before that page speed is an incredibly important factor in how Google ranks your website. SEO Site Checkup is a great tool that lets you address page speed at the same time you’re looking into other search engine optimization factors. I like SEO Site Checkup because:
2019 Verdict: SEO Site Checkup is a vital tool for any web marketing professional. After running this diagnostic, you’ll be better able to determine where to commit resources and time to best improve your webpage performance.
Verdict: The Site 24 x 7 Webpage Analyzer isn’t quite as robust as many of the other tools on this list. But the built-in integration with other system administrators can make it a nice addition to a holistic, domain-side approach to page speed testing.
Dotcom-tools.com offers an incredibly robust and thorough page speed testing tool. Most other page speed testing tools will only test from one location at a time. But the Website Speed Test from Dotcom-tools.com checks page speed from 24 locations – including yours (or as close to yours as is possible).
Verdict: The Dotcol-tools.com Website Speed Test tool is an excellent choice if you are primarily concerned with analyzing how different users in different geographic regions experience your website.
The Uptrends website is certainly not slouching in the design department. If you want a speed testing tool that will look nice when you take a screenshot and send to a client, UpTrends is definitely a good option. This webpage testing tool:
Verdict: UpTrends is a good, well-designed page speed testing tool. It doesn’t provide a lot of features not available elsewhere, but it can be a good client-facing option.
Any one of these top 10 free website speed test tools of 2020 can help get you started on the pathway to improved performance. As you try out each one, you and your development team might develop preferences for a particular feature set or style of report.
Overall, I’d recommend you check out GTmetrix. It’s by far my favorite testing tool and offers a stack of features, and even more when you create a free account.
The tools on this list can help you get your bearings, track your success, and prove your worth. And they can do all of that for free. The best way to honor that kind of bargain is simply to start testing your website today.
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