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speed testWhat would you do if your first impression of a website was that it takes forever to load?

If your own website loads slowly, you will lose your visitors’ attention even before your website has had a chance to make an impression at all. Moreover, Google has factored page speed into its search rankings. So you see it’s important to keep a close eye on your website’s page loading speed.

Running a speed test on your website is very simple.


There are many services out there that run automated tests. Below are some useful resources that will help you analyze not only how fast your website loads, but also what is slowing it down. The recommendations show you which changes are necessary to pass the speed test, which is your visitors’ attention span.

Website Speed Test

This is the best tool for a quick and simultaneous speed test of multiple domains. You can enter up to 10 domains and the site will return a result that includes the page size, total load time, and average speed per KB. Apparently, MakeUseOf.com has been optimized for speedy loading.

speed test

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This test only gives you an idea whether or not action must be taken. It doesn’t analyze which elements of your website slow down its loading speed. What it does reveal, however, is the overall size of your start page. Rule of thumb: the smaller it is ,the faster it will load.

However, as the example above reveals this isn’t always true, hence, a more thorough analysis is in order.

Web Page Analyzer

With Web Page Analyzer you can diagnose a URL or its (X)HTML code. The web page speed report provides a thorough diagnosis as well as clues on how to improve your website.

In the ‘Object Size Totals’ section the total loading time is broken up by objects, including HTML, images, scripts, and multimedia. These numbers clearly show what slows down your website.

speed test internet

Conclusions from the raw data are drawn in the ‘Analysis and Recommendations’ section at the bottom of the report. The list not only shows you where you need to improve and recommends action, it also congratulates you on what was already done right.

Firebug & YSlow

YSlow is a Firefox extension developed by Steve Souders, the guy who was hired by Yahoo! to speed up their website and who wrote two books on the topic of speeding up websites. YSlow integrates into Firebug, so it’s essential that you install both of these extensions. Firebug is a web development tool packed into a Firefox extension. It helps you inspect your HTML, debug JavaScript, and analyze network usage and performance of your website.

Once installed, you will find the Firebug / YSlow buttons in your statusbar. Within the Firebug analysis window, YSlow occupies its own tab. This complex tool will take a moment to digest as there is a ton of features packed into a dozen sub-tabs.

The main aspect is the grading of the website. There are over 20 points that are graded and contribute to the overall performance. For each point, suggestions are made on how to improve the given grade.

speed test internet

The Components are sorted by type into a table that lists their size and response time along with other characteristics. This is useful to find elements that slow down your website. The statistics reveal the site’s weight on an empty or primed cache and breaks up the weight into its components, such as HTML, JavaScript, or images.

speed test internet

Finally, YSlow provides Tools to show all JavaScript or CSS code, receive a printable view of grades, component lists, and statistics, and best of all, Smush.it can compress all images on your website to save size and subsequently page loading time.

speed test

With the help of all these services you should now know exactly what slows down your website.

If you have meanwhile developed a deep interest in the topic, read this summary of a PhD thesis on Web Page Performance.

Also check out the following articles on MakeUseOf:

What tips do you have to share to improve slow loading websites?

Image credits: vierdrie

  1. Cuscostore
    October 16, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Dear Colleague:
    There will be somebody that help to get the worth of my website: http://www.cuscostores.com
    Thanks so much

  2. Nicole
    September 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    You can also look at this Free Website Speed Test Tool to check the loading time of a website on different connection speeds like dialup, dsl, cable and more.

  3. pceasies
    September 6, 2010 at 2:55 am

    site-perf.com
    gtmetrix.com

    Both are great websites for analyzing performance.

  4. Guest
    September 6, 2010 at 2:54 am

    site-perf.com
    gtmetrix.com

    Both very good.

  5. pceasies
    September 6, 2010 at 12:55 am

    site-perf.com
    gtmetrix.com

    Both are great websites for analyzing performance.

  6. Guest
    September 6, 2010 at 12:54 am

    site-perf.com
    gtmetrix.com

    Both very good.

  7. Tina
    September 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I disagree that it's the best one because - unless I missed something - it clearly doesn't come close to the analysis provided by Firebug & YSlow or Web Page Analyzer.

    However, it is definitely sleek and the option to sort objects by load order, file type, or load time is very useful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hendy_100
    September 1, 2010 at 6:51 am

    What about tools.pingdom.com - thats the best one! FAIL!

  9. Hendy_100
    September 1, 2010 at 4:51 am

    What about tools.pingdom.com - thats the best one! FAIL!

    • Aibek
      September 1, 2010 at 6:30 am

      I second Pingdom Tools.

    • Tina
      September 1, 2010 at 6:58 am

      I disagree that it's the best one because - unless I missed something - it clearly doesn't come close to the analysis provided by Firebug & YSlow or Web Page Analyzer.However, it is definitely sleek and the option to sort objects by load order, file type, or load time is very useful.Thanks for sharing!

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