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Best Tools to Test Website Performance in 2024

Best Tools to Test Website Performance in 2024

Improving your website speed and web performance is no longer optional, especially for ecommerce businesses. A slow-loading, unresponsive website can lead to frustrated users, low retention, high bounce rates, and ultimately, lost revenue. But before you start optimizing, you need to know what you should work on – this is where you need a tool to test website performance.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll provide a detailed comparison of the top tools to test website performance in 2024. By the end of this post, you should have a clear understanding of which tool is the best for your business and how to leverage it to optimize your website’s performance. Let’s get started!

Contents

What is the best way to test website performance?

When it comes to testing website performance, there are several key metrics that you should focus on. These metrics provide a comprehensive view of your site’s speed, interactivity and responsiveness, all of which are key factors contributing to the overall user experience.

Page load time: This is the time it takes for a web page to fully load, from the initial request to the moment when all resources (such as images, scripts, and stylesheets) have finished downloading. Ideally, your page load time should be under 3 seconds, as studies have shown that longer load times can lead to increased bounce rates.

Test website performance - page load time
Source: Think with Google

Core Web Vitals: Introduced by Google, Core Web Vitals are a set of three key user-centric web performance metrics. These include Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures the time it takes for the main content of a page to load, Interaction to Next Paint (INP), which measures the time it takes for a page to become interactive, and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which measures the visual stability of a page.

Resource timing: This area provides detailed information about the loading times of individual resources (such as images, scripts, and stylesheets) on a web page. By analyzing resource timing, you can identify specific assets that are slowing down your page’s load time and take steps to optimize them.

Hence, there are website performance testing tools which are able to evaluate some, or all, of these metrics. Also, it is essential for your tool of choice to be able to test across different devices, locations, and browsers. This will help you identify any inconsistencies or issues that may only be present on certain platforms or in specific regions. 

Best tools to test website performance

There are several top-tier tools available in today’s market that can help you test your website performance and provide valuable insights for improvement. Here is the top 5 options:

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights is a free, widely-used tool that analyzes the content of your web pages and provides suggestions for improving their performance. It offers both lab data (simulated performance) and field data (real-world user experience).

The tool’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to understand the results, and it provides detailed recommendations for optimizing elements like images and code. PageSpeed Insights also offers the ability to test your site’s performance on both mobile and desktop devices.

Pros

  • Gold standard for Core Web Vitals testing
  • Easy to use
  • Offers recommendations for improvements
  • Free

Cons

  • Recommendations for improvement are not always so clear
  • Not possible to perform scheduled testing (ad-hoc only)

Valido AI

Valido AI is an intelligent website performance testing tool that goes beyond the basic metrics to provide a deeper, more holistic analysis of your site’s performance. In addition to measuring page load time, Core Web Vitals, and resource timing metrics, Valido AI also performs audits on your site’s SEO, accessibility, and conformance with web best practices.

Valido AI has the ability to test your site’s performance under various device types, screen resolutions, browsers and locations. Users are also provided the option to perform UI/UX testing in addition to web performance testing, at no additional costs. 

The tool’s intuitive dashboard makes it easy to interpret test results. One of Valido AI’s standout  features is its AI-powered recommendations which provide personalized steps for improving your website performance and user experience.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Focused on ecommerce businesses
  • Comprehensive analysis beyond page load time and web performance metrics, including user experience, accessibility, and SEO
  • Automatic test setup and test scheduling features
  • Personalized AI-powered recommendations for improving performance
  • Competitor benchmarking features
  • Integration with Jira and Trello
  • Free plan allows generous testing of all features

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GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a website performance testing tool that provides a detailed analysis of your site’s speed and optimization. It allows you to see your website’s full load time, top issues that need to be addressed, and what resources are consuming the most server load.

One of the key advantages of GTmetrix is its ability to test your site from multiple locations around the world, giving you a better understanding of how your website performs for users in different regions. By default the free service measures speeds from a Canadian server, but register for a free account and you can also measure performance from Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, UK and USA.

Pros

  • Measures a wide range of performance metrics
  • Tests your site from multiple locations around the world
  • User-friendly interface
  • Provides suggestions for improving performance

Cons

  • Free version has limited features, testing locations, and a limit of URLs to test
  • Requires paid version to unlock useful features such as device and screen resolution simulation

Pingdom

Pingdom is a popular website performance testing tool that provides a comprehensive analysis of your site’s speed and availability. It caters for both novice and advanced users to help identify ways in which your website speed can be improved.

A major plus of the tool is that you can run the test from different locations in order to see how it performs according to users from a number of places around the world.

Pingdom’s free version provides less actionable information than some of the other tools listed, making it good for inexperienced users to kickstart their optimization, but not so useful for developers looking for detailed insights to improve their web.

Pros

  • Good for beginners
  • Choice of locations
  • Provides detailed reports that can be easily shared

Cons

  • Relatively basic free version
  • Limited optimization insights 

WebPageTest.Org

WebPageTest is is a versatile website speed test tool which offers a wide range of features, including the ability to test your site from multiple locations and on different devices. It gives you the option to run a fast and simple test, and also advanced options if you need to test specific conditions. It offers a wide variety of servers for the free version.

Standout features of WebPageTest are its detailed waterfall charts, resource timing, and video recordings of the page load process. This level of detail can be invaluable for identifying and addressing complex performance issues.

While WebPageTest may have a steeper learning curve compared to some of the other tools on this list, its depth of analysis and customization options make it a powerful choice for advanced users and developers who need to thoroughly optimize their website’s performance.

Pros

  • Ability to test on different devices, browsers, and network conditions
  • Detailed waterfall charts, resource timing, and video recordings
  • Flexible and highly customizable

Cons

  • Steeper learning curve compared to some other tools
  • Requires more technical expertise to set up and interpret the results

Wrapping Things Up

In this article, we’ve explored the best tools to test website performance in 2024, covering a range of options and standout features.

While tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and the basic versions of GTmetrix and Pingdom can be a great starting point, more advanced tools like Valido AI can provide a more comprehensive monitoring and analysis for businesses that require a thorough understanding of their website’s performance.

When choosing the right website performance testing tool, it’s important to consider your specific requirements, such as the depth of analysis you need, the ability to test across different devices and locations, and the overall user-friendliness of the tool. A holistic approach to website performance testing ensures that your site delivers an optimal experience for all of your users.

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