The Top 5 Tools for Testing a WordPress Site’s Performance

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These days, speed is everything. And that’s no exaggeration. Google recently announced an upcoming update to their algorithm that is going to give pages with better user experience an advantage in ranking. And when it comes to user experience, speed is one of the most important metrics.

Now the algorithm update isn’t going to go live before the start of 2021, and the Google devs said that they’ll give us at least six months notice before it does. But trust us, those with any SEO smarts have already started preparing for this, and you should too. Which is why we’ve compiled this list of the top 5 tools for testing a WordPress site’s performance. Each of these tools will not only help you determine where your site is lacking in terms of speed but also provide suggestions on how you could improve your load time and make sure you’re ready and have an advantage over the competition whenever the next big algorithm update does roll out.

So without any further ado, let’s dive right in.

Google Page Speed Insights

Google Page Speed Insights

Where better to start then with Google Page Speed Insights – Google’s very own performance testing tool. Simply paste your site’s URL into the designated field and click “Analyze”. In just a few second, you’ll be presented with your results. The first number you see is the overall score of your page. A score of 90-100 is considered great, 50-89 means your page speed could be improved, while anything below 50 is poor and requires you take immediate action. Luckily, Google Page Speed Insights also gives you recommendations regarding how you could boost your performance. From optimizing images and minimizing CSS and JavaScript files to removing any unused pieces of code and more. And since Google also takes mobile-readiness into account when ranking your pages, this amazing tool will even give you separate reports and suggestions for mobile and desktop devices.

We ran a quick test on WP Warfare, and here are our results:

PageSpeed Insights

As you can see, we’re not too bad. But despite being just a few digits away from a great score, we still don’t pass the Core Web Vitals assessment test. This test takes into account all the performance data that Google acquired from your page in the past thirty days, and the fact that Google has added it to Page Speed Insights should tell you just how important this algorithm update is going to be.

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So it looks like we’ll have to work a bit on our server speed and see what we can do to optimize the way we deliver resources.

GTmetrix

GTmetrix

GTmetrix is another great tool for testing your WordPress site’s performance. It will inform you of the total size of your page, let you know exactly how long it takes for the page to load, and even display the exact number of request made to your server. The overall performance scores and accompanying suggestions for improvement are taken from two other tools – PageSpeed and Yslow. This gives you twice the amount of actionable data to help you boost the speed of your site. And if you’re uncertain of what any of the suggestions means, there’s a handy “What’s this mean” button that provides more information. But what really makes GTmetrix one of the best tools for testing WordPress websites is its dedicated WordPress optimization guide, especially made to help WP admins make their sites load faster.

Pingdom

Pingdom

Pingdom is undoubtedly one of the most seasoned and widely used site performance test tools in the world. One of the first things you’ll notice is that with Pingdom, you can choose the region you’d like to perform your test from. This can be an extremely handy option, considering that page load time can vary depending on the physical location of the website server and its distance from the person accessing the site. But besides letting you know how fast your pages will load for users spanning the globe, Pingdom also provides all the data you’d expect from a great performance tool, and even includes some useful statistics like what percentage of your page are images, code files, fonts, etc.

WebPageTest

Webpagetest

WebPageTest is another great tool that lets you run free site performance tests from a variety of locations around the globe and using real browsers and devices. Besides providing a speed test, it also grades the security of your site and your caching practices, and even check whether you are using a content delivery network to serve your data. While the interface of this site might not be as pretty as that of the others on our list, it’s extremely detailed in its analysis. There are multiple tabs you can browse through that provide everything from a general overview of your site’s performance to a detailed performance review, content breakdown, screenshots of your site loading, and more.

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Uptrends Free Website Speed Test

Uptrends Website Speed Test

The Uptrends Free Website Speed Test is another great way to quickly check out just how fast your site is loading for users. You get to choose the location you’d like to perform the test from, as well as the device, browser, and screen size you want to emulate. Like most of the other tools for testing your WP site’s performance, Uptrends also provides you with a general overview of your overall rating, load time and page size. And if you want to dive into more details and determine exactly what could be better, you get performance improvement suggestions, a number of statistical breakdowns, and even a filterable request-by-request outline of your site loading.

And with that, we conclude our list of the top 5 tools for testing a WordPress website’s performance. Using any of the resources we discussed, you will be able to easily audit your entire site, determine its strengths and weaknesses, and even get a number of helpful tips on how you can easily boost its speed. So make sure you make good use of them. And if you’re determined to rank as high as you can on search engine result pages – especially Google – you should make a point of working on your site speed sooner rather than later. The new algorithm update will be live before we know it, and here a WP Warfare, we want to make sure all our readers are prepared.

 

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