3 favourite website speed testing tools

It’s no secret that we believe website speed is a crucial factor, but you are probably wondering two things:

  1. How can website speed be measured?
  2. How can speeds be improved?

The answer is simple: website speed test services.

There are many services out there offering website speed tests and most of them are really high-quality services. However, some websites don’t allow you to change testing location – where they load the website from, while some that allow you to pick the location do not let you pick somewhere in Australia.

These might not be issues for you if you use a Content Delivery Network but testing website load speeds from a location far away from your clients’ locations does not give you the detailed information you are after.

That’s where the three tools below stand out from the competition.

Website Speed Test by KeyCDN

Amongst the 14 locations across the globe that you can test from is Sydney, Australia. The speed test allows you to make the results publicly viewable as well, or you can simply untick the box to keep results private. This tool doesn’t give you optimisation tips but it shows a waterfall of what things are loaded from your website so you can get an idea of where the loading slows down. It also shows you a preview of what the site looks like.

Check it out: https://tools.keycdn.com/speed

Pingdom Website Speed Test

Pingdom Website Speed Test gives you three locations options, one of them being Melbourne, Australia. The tool also gives your site a Performance Grade, tells you the total load time, and shows you some more important information including a comparison of your site versus other tested sites. The Performance insights section of the results is the real gold mine as it shows you the worst performing aspects of the site first essentially showing what needs to be worked on and even how to fix it! Further down is even more valuable information on your website performance that includes a load waterfall, breakdown of asset types and more.

Check it out: https://tools.pingdom.com/

WebPagetest

This is the only tool designed solely for website speed testing and not as a service by a company whose core services are different. To be honest, it really shows. WebPagetest let’s you pick location as well as browser – something the other two tools don’t let you do. In Australia there is a general ‘Australia’ option as well as a ‘Sydney’ option – we generally pick the latter. There is also a raft of other options you can pick from depending on how advanced you want to be but we don’t usualy suggest clients delve into these.

Check it out: https://www.webpagetest.org/

Which one to use?

Our favourite by far is Pingdom’s tool simply because of the level of information you are given. However, for Canberra-based clients (or for testing sites further away from one of Pingdom’s 3 locations), the tool is better as a guide rather than a detailed idea of load times since the closest testing location is in Melbourne. What we use Pingdom for is get tips on optimisation and then we use one of the other 2 tools to get an idea of load times and if they fall within what we think is acceptable for the type of site.

WebPagetest is the best option if you are looking for more advanced functionality and conducting a speed test from Sydney rather than Melbourne.

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