In the day and age of the technological Renaissance, having a company website is an essential ingredient for the success of all businesses. Whether your business is big or small, if you want people to know about what you do, you need a website today, without any doubt.
However, just having an aesthetically appealing website with colorful graphics and interesting animations is not enough. If the loading speed of your website is not up to the mark, no matter how perfectly it is designed with content and appropriate call-to-actions, you won’t be able to ‘profit’ from your business.
If you have a website that takes a lot of time to load, it will not just irritate the visitors but will also compel them to get the same services from your competitor’s site.
A website that loads slowly and stays irresponsive in terms of mobile and desktop user experience can be detrimental to the image, reputation, and success of your brand. But the question is, “How will you determine the loading speed of your company’s website?” “How will you make sure that it does not divert the average visitor to a website of your competitor simply because your webpage took a lot of time to open?”
The solution is simple…
There are certain analytical tools available in the online world that you can use to find out how quickly your website is loading for an average visitor - be it on their mobiles or laptops. One such tool is the GTmetrix.
By employing this site performance testing tool like GTmetrix, you can determine whether your website is operating efficiently or not. The tool will provide a number of helpful analytics that may be used to pinpoint the problems that are causing your site to load slowly. In addition to this, the tool can be used to resolve existing issues as well.
Several advantages will come your way if you increase your website’s performance, including a higher retention rate for visitors and a higher position on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). An average visitor will spend more time on your smart and responsive website because their experience will be quite enriching.
The bounce rate, which literally means how quickly a visitor bounces to another website from your webpage, will diminish astronomically because of the fulfilling experience that users will get by visiting the website of your company.
So, let us dive deep into the details of how to use GTmetrix so that you can understand every function of it and utilize them to your optimum benefit -
The Definition of GTmetrix
It is one of the most often used tools for assessing website loading speed functionality. A website that has been put through testing will offer a performance rating and a report that details the site's present condition and offers recommendations for how it can be improved.
The best part is that the basic version of this tool is absolutely FREE!
GTmetrix Pro, which starts at $14.95/mo with the Bronze plan, is an alternative if you'd want extra capabilities for your tool like limitless report filters and resource consumption graphs.
It's also important to note that the performance score and suggestions generated by GTmetrix include information from YSlow and Google PageSpeed Insights. As the findings include a broad range of performance indicators and display them thoroughly, you can use this method instead of doing the test on a different tool.
There are a few things to take into account when running a GTmetrix speed performance test.
Let's take a closer look -
Analysis Options in GTmetrix
The fundamental version of GTmetrix is totally free, and by creating an account, you may access a variety of features. Although they also offer paid plans, we are focusing primarily on the free version for this blog. A lot of extra analysis settings can be specified and used if you have a paid subscription.
The first is the option of deciding where you wish to test your URL. Regarding the actual location of your website's hosting, the physical location you select is crucial. Your load times will increase with lower latency. These are the locations that are available now:
- London, UK
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Mumbai, India
- Hong Kong, China
- Sydney, Australia
- Dallas, USA
- Vancouver, Canada
The browser of your choice is yours to select. Chrome (Desktop) and Firefox (Desktop) are available for testing. Under their premium programs, mobile versions are also offered. Also, they provide you with the option to alter the connection speed, allowing you to replicate a variety of connection scenarios and observe how they affect the ultimate speed at which your pages load.
You may also incorporate a video as one of your additional alternatives. The ability to observe how the website renders will aid in problem-solving. It's good to have AdBlock Plus. You may use this option to fully understand how advertising affects your load speeds if you operate a third-party ad network like Google Adsense.
Other features include the ability to utilize HTTP authentication, submit a cookie along with your request, stop the test on-loading time (which we will explore in more detail later), screen resolution and device pixel ratio, whitelist and blacklist URLs, and user agent override.
How to Run a Website Speed Test With GTmetrix?
At first, you would have to choose any of the given locations from the list we mentioned above. Just click Analyze when you are prepared to run the website performance test. After that, the performance ratings and the overall load time will be displayed. Six tabs, each of which has a different suggestion to speed up your website, are located beneath the performance ratings. These tabs cover the various aspects of the report.
PageSpeed - This tab offers suggestions based on Google PageSpeed Insights, such as utilizing browser caching, optimizing picture size, activating Keep-Alive, and minifying HTML. Under the Performance Scores box, you can view the PageSpeed rating overall.
YSlow - Similar to PageSpeed, it displays recommendations for speed improvement but offers other options, such as minimizing HTTP requests, minimizing DNS lookups, and utilizing a CDN (Content Delivery Network).
Waterfall - You can find out how long it takes to load each resource using the waterfall tab. The resources that should be optimized may be determined by looking at this tab. For instance, you may use an image optimizer to minimize the size of a slow-loading picture file and speed up loading time.
Time - It provides you with information about the loading procedure. The outcome is more thorough, and if you want to learn more about any particular issue, you may hover your mouse over it.
Video - You may see a video of the complete loading process on the "Video" tab. As a result, it is visibly evident which website components take longer to load. If you wish to record the site's performance during each test, you may also download the video.
History - This page displays a timeline of test outcomes. You can observe how the page's size, load time, PageSpeed, and YSlow ratings have changed.
Now that you know all about how to test website speed, let’s learn how you can speed up your website.
Simple Ways to Speed Up Your Website
Let's put some of GTmetrix's recommendations into practice now that you know how to improve your website.
Activate GZIP Compression
Your hosting company may also play a role in this. WordPress sites hosted by Hostinger utilize LiteSpeed, which by default has GZIP enabled.
A WordPress plugin like WP quickest cache can be installed as an alternative. With just a few clicks in the free version, GZIP compression may be enabled.
GTmetrix's Advice to Minify HTML
Attempting to minify web pages using programs like Minify Code is an option. Copy the original GTmetrix code from the part under "Minifying Suggestions" in the PageSpeed or Yslow tabs. The optimized version may be obtained by pasting the original code into the minification tool. Next, duplicate it and replace the original content with it in the site directory. An FTP client or a file manager can be used for this. And that’s all you need to do to make your website fast and improve website user experience.
Meaning of GTmetrix Measurement
As mentioned earlier, the output of GTmetrix is an overall score, but what it assesses is equally important.
Overview of the GTmetrix Grade
- This indicator aids in your comprehension of the overall effectiveness of your website
- The architectural design of the website and the users' load times are taken into account when assigning grades
- A website that loads quickly and is designed for performance is likely to get a better score than one that takes longer to load or has a poor architectural design
- The performance score is comparable to a Lighthouse Performance Score, according to the GTmetrix website
- Everyone who wishes to comprehend the statistics and how it relates to other performance measurements might benefit from knowing this information
- The GTmetrix unique evaluation of its bespoke audits is combined with the Lighthouse evaluation to get the structural rating
- The rating shows how effectively the site is designed for performance
This section outlines the indicators Google looks at to assess if a website is producing what it calls "a great experience."
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- LCP stands for the amount of time it takes for your website's most important component to load before the user can view it
- Less than 1.2 seconds would provide a decent user experience
Total Blocking Time (TBT)
- Total Blocking Time is a Lighthouse statistic designed to gauge how responsively your website loads to user input
- It is intended to calculate how much time was spent preventing user interaction
- First Input Delay (FID), which was employed by PageSpeed Insights, was replaced by this
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- The CLS metric tracks unanticipated page elements moving during the page loads
- Google's Web Vitals also makes use of this measure
Your page loading time will not only deter your audience but can also positively impact search engine visibility. That’s why you should hire a reputed team of Website builders and developers who can speed up your site and keep the conversion rate up as an overall output.
Contact MyTasker today if you want to up the speed of your website or resolve any website-related issues. Get in touch with the experts if you want to experience optimum speed for your website, not only just for desktops but also for mobiles.