Slow loading sites frustrate people with bad user experiences and have a negative impact on conversions.
There are a lot of reasons why a WordPress site loads slowly on mobile devices. Bloated plugins, oversized files and images, unnecessary content or having poor hosting are some of the most common causes.
As we have already seen 5 ways to speed up WordPress for mobile, in this post we will explore 5 tools for testing your WordPress site’s performance and mobile speed so that you can know what you need to optimize and change.
Tools for testing your WordPress site’s performance
1. Google PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is a tool created by Google that measures the performance of your page for mobile and desktop devices and score ranging from 0 to 100 points.
The score is based on their speed and usability rules. In other words, the online tool checks if your page has applied Google’s common performance best practices. The higher the score, the faster your site will load. Use this tool as a guide, but don’t become obsessed trying to score 100/100 – sometimes this might not be possible.
PageSpeed Insights also provides some useful information on user experience and gives you suggestions to make your website faster based on their analysis.
Although this tool is built for developers, it will give you a rough idea of what you need to optimize in order to improve your site’s performance across all devices.
2. Test My Site
Test My Site is the latest tool from Google to analyze your site’s mobile speed. This takes your URL and once your test has been completed, you can see:
- Your site’s loading time on mobile devices: how long the visible content of your page takes to appear within a 3G network.
- Estimated visitor loss: this is an interesting new metric Google is offering. It measures the percent of visitors that will leave your page due to slow loading time (more than three seconds according to this Google’s report).
- An industry comparison: how you compare against the top-performing sites in the same or similar industry.
- Estimated loading time savings and recommendations to speed up your mobile site from the PageSpeed Insight rules.
Besides this, they send to your email a detailed report of fixes to reduce loading time and make your mobile site faster.
Pingdom is another great tool for web developers and one of the most popular performance testing tools in the WordPress community.
It not only gives you information about your site’s performance, but also examines all parts of your page. You can view file sizes, load times, and other details about every element of your page (HTML, CSS files, images, etc.).
This way Pingdom helps you analyze the load speed of your website and identify those best practices you are not following. The performance insights section of this tool is actually based on the Google PageSpeed Insight rules.
Another feature worth highlighting here is that it lets you trace your performance history. It is possible to save each test so you can review it later and track if your efforts are working.
GTmetrix is a monitoring tool that helps you track your WordPress site’s performance. You can schedule a daily, weekly, or monthly analysis of your page, get visual reports, and set up alerts based on performance criteria.
The reports that GTmetrix generates will give you a full picture on how your site loads, as well as provide you with suggestions on how to improve the overall speed.
Its key features include PageSpeed Insights and Yahoo! YSlow scores and recommendations, page load details (time, size, number of requests) and tests from seven different regions around the world.
The tool is built for developers, but anyone can use it for free to see what they need to change to meet Google’s high standards. It generates a report with scores ranging from 0 to 100 in different areas.
Similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, getting Lighthouse score to 100 may take a lot of work. Don’t become obsessed. Consider the metrics that matter for your WordPress site and take each recommendation as a challenge to improve the overall performance.
Each of these tools will help you test the load speed of your page and give you a general idea of how well your WordPress site is performing. All of them have a slightly different way of looking at key speed indicators, that’s why you might see different results. But remember that these tools are just guidelines.
Taking advantage of them will help you build a faster and more responsive website and keep users more engaged and focused on your content.
How do you keep your website running fast? Have you tried any of these tools to test your WordPress site’s performance? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.