10 Free Online Tools To Test Your Website Loading Speeds & Create Faster Webpages

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website speed testNot every website can be a Google. No; not in terms of scale but in terms of the speed with which it loads up in our browsers. Minimalism is great, but it does not go with the need to put more content and animated ads on the webpage. It is sometimes a trade-off which every web designer has to make.

Creating faster webpages is one of the commandments of great web design. A slow loading speed not only indicates poor design but is also a huge turn-off for visitors. Slow loading webpages could also be symptoms of bugs or any other bottleneck.

The first step you can take to optimize your website is to put it through a speed test. These ten tools are few of the many which can help test loading speeds and give cues to create faster webpages.

WebWait

website speed test

The timer gives you the average loading time of your website. Enter the URL of your site, set the number of runs, and get the results in terms of Average, Median, and Standard Deviation after the runs are through. You can set the number of test runs. While running the website speed test, the app factors in all images, stylesheets, and Javascript. It runs in all popular browsers. (See Directory mention)

Which Loads Faster?

free website speed checker

Pit one site against the other and see which one comes out on top. You can benchmark the faster website and use it optimize the speed of your own website. The choice of two modes allows you to control the loading simultaneously in case one site interferes with the other. It could be quite a fun tool too as the ‘epic test’ between Apple and Adobe shows that Apple has bit of an edge. (See Directory mention)

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Web Page Test

free website speed checker

WebPagetest.org was developed by AOL and then Open Sourced. This web app gives you a long list of server locations to try out the tests on. Another dropdown enables you to set a specific browser (IE9 too). Advanced Settings are for further fine-tuning the test by setting parameters like the number of test runs, connection type, including scripts etc. You can also use a visual tool to compare multiple URLs together.  (See Directory mention)

Load.in

free website speed checker

This website speed tool is definitely one of the coolest around in terms of visual appeal. Loads.in gives you more than 50 server locations around the world to try out loading speeds on. The first run retrieves the loading speed for a random location. The next ones can be set by country and browser type. As the test completes, you also get snapshots of the webpage at various points on a timeline. The loading time also displays the individual loading times of each site element in a waterfall chart. The data can also be downloaded as a HAR file. (See Directory mention)

Slowcop

website for checking download speed

This page loading speed tester gives you an instant speed report that also scores your site from 0 to 100. The report displays data like the total number of elements, page size, download time, and the score. With this as a denominator, you can instantly compare it against a competitor site and see the performance. (See Directory mention)

[NO LONGER WORKS] Ping Brigade

website for checking download speed

Test your website on three scales – ping, page load, and web server latency. The test is quite fast and a colored map gives you clickable server locations in America and the world to test with different servers. (See Directory mention)

Pingdom

website for checking download speed

Test your page load speeds The Full Page Test gives you a detailed visual report on the load time of each element (images, CSS, JavaScripts, RSS, Flash and frames/iframes). Objects included in javascript are ignored. You can sort through the results with the tools available on the menu bar and diagnose any bottlenecks if any.

BrowserMob

The free website performance test gives a neat visual display of loading times with reference to a few locations around the world. The number of objects on the page are also broken down in a nice colorful pie-chart. Use the waterfall chart to analyze each individual element in more detail.

WebSlug

WebSlug’s site timer gives you a comparative estimate of two websites. With just the URL you can benchmark one site against another. The simple site is pretty limited in scope but can be used as a ‘battle tool’ between two websites.

PageSpeed

website speed test

Page Speed is an open-source project from Google that’s available as an online app and also as a Chrome extension. Page Speed Online analyzes the content of a web page, and then generates suggestions to make that page faster. The suggestions are graded as low, medium, and high priority. Using this valuable tool you can see the suggestions on each object on the webpage. In an improvement, PageSpeed also tweaks the suggestions for faster mobile browsing.

Webmasters need a bevy of tools to work on optimization of their websites. Along with the online apps, there are quite a few extensions and offline tools as well. Tina’s post shows you – How To Run A Speed Test On Your Website with FireBug and YSlow. If you are looking for a portable app, take a look at Speed Monitor. Which tools would you recommend to speedup websites and blogs?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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15 Comments - Write a Comment

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Bruce Epper

You guys should seriously consider running these against your own site. I’m on a broadband connection and it still takes MINUTES to load your pages, probably due to HUNDREDS of images and ads on every page. And I know it isn’t my system since I get the same results after a fresh install of the OS with a lightweight AV package and nothing else added. I even installed a new environment and skipped the AV and saw the same thing.

James Bruce

Sorry Bruce, we are aware of the slow loading time and trying to work out a solution. These things are inevitable when switching to a new backend, but I assure we will work something out.

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pceasies

These two are great:
http://site-perf.com/
http://gtmetrix.com

Both will help understand what’s slowing your page down. GTMetrix uses YSlow and Google PageSpeed to offer suggestions on improving loading times.

http://punypng.com/ will shrink images (300kb and less) in size to help improve loading times. You can also try smushit.com, but punypng tends to shave a little more off. If you have Photoshop access you can use the Save for Web… tool under File to help optimize and shrink the file size by reducing quality, colors, and changing the format.

Reply

pceasies

These two are great:
http://site-perf.com/
http://gtmetrix.com

Both will help understand what’s slowing your page down. GTMetrix uses YSlow and Google PageSpeed to offer suggestions on improving loading times.

http://punypng.com/ will shrink images (300kb and less) in size to help improve loading times. You can also try smushit.com, but punypng tends to shave a little more off. If you have Photoshop access you can use the Save for Web… tool under File to help optimize and shrink the file size by reducing quality, colors, and changing the format.

Reply

Joan Miller

Thank you for this. I’ve been looking for methods to measure my site’s load time with the ultimate goal of speeding up the site. What is considered to be a fast load time? How many seconds?

pceasies

I’d shoot for less than 1.5 sec. Anything >1sec is a good load time I’d say. (That’s using site-perf.com). Some of these are based on your own connection so they may be slower, especially with a DSL connection.

Reply

pceasies

I’d shoot for less than 1.5 sec. Anything >1sec is a good load time I’d say. (That’s using site-perf.com). Some of these are based on your own connection so they may be slower, especially with a DSL connection.

Reply

Jason Matthews

Pretty interesting, but it makes me wonder at what time is there a significant loss of visitors? Can people wait 3 seconds anymore, or if my site loads in 3 seconds should I start panicking?

pceasies

I know there have been studies done, but I can’t remember any specific information except I think most visitors leave after about 10 seconds and get annoyed after around 5. I’m not sure how partially loaded pages such as CSS, but no images play into that, though.

pceasies

Here’s an article stating over 4 seconds is bad:
http://www.blairstoverdesigns.com/the-importance-of-optimum-load-time-for-your-site/

Of course it depends on the site. I’d expect an image gallery to take a lot longer to load than a blog post. I normally have a higher tolerance when it’s a small, lesser known site experiencing the Digg/Lifehacker/MakeUseOf effect. I’ll normally leave it open and do a few refreshes before giving up.

Reply

pceasies

Here’s an article stating over 4 seconds is bad:
http://www.blairstoverdesigns….

Of course it depends on the site. I’d expect an image gallery to take a lot longer to load than a blog post. I normally have a higher tolerance when it’s a small, lesser known site experiencing the Digg/Lifehacker/MakeUseOf effect. I’ll normally leave it open and do a few refreshes before giving up.

Reply

Nikunj Tamboli

Superb tools, before I was using one pingdom to check on the load time but many of time was getting errors using their services, I tried load.in which i found really useful as it give different testing option from different location.

Thanks Saikat

Reply

Nikunj Tamboli

Superb tools, before I was using one pingdom to check on the load time but many of time was getting errors using their services, I tried load.in which i found really useful as it give different testing option from different location.

Thanks Saikat

Reply

Vassari

Hi, thanks for the info. I wonder why I get such different results with any of those tools, from 18sec to 5sec, the same webpage. I’m doing a benchmarking of competitors: which one should I trust the most? Thanks in advance. Guillem

pceasies

Webwait uses a frame of some sort and Javascript to time the page and it’s going through your connection. Some sites load it to their own server for timing. I normally trust site-perf.com the most when checking performance. They have 3 servers to choose from. It loads the site from 1 of their locations and reports the speed it downloaded the site at along with many other stats. If you are looking to trustworthiness you should also take into account whether they set up caching properly, compressed all assets, used good practices such as loading Javascript last. PageSpeed and YSlow! will both help you judge whether the company put effort into optimizing their website. You can use GTMetrix to do a YSlow/PageSpeed test and it’ll give you each one of their scores.

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