At CanSpace, we are obsessed with fast loading websites. Are you ever curious about how your website performs when others are visiting it? If only there was a tool that could test the performance of your site from different places in the planet and send you a detailed report of the findings. It just so happens that these tools do exist. Pingdom Tools and Google’s own PageSpeed Insights are great ways to check up on your website from afar. Let’s test these tools by checking out the results for Toronto’s most popular newspaper, the Star.
As you can see, the load time is actually pretty good for a content heavy site, but the website still got a poor grade, because as far as Pingdom is concerned, there are many improvements that could be made.
And don’t forget, you can do this test using servers from multiple locations to see if any particular location is performing better or worse than the others.
You can see content size by content type and also number of requests by content types to help you pin down where the heavy lifting is happening and where you might be able to improve load speed by being more selective in a particular category.
Last but not least, there’s a very interesting load order visualization that can help you visualize exactly which processes are responsible for most of the delays. In this particular case, you can see that a redirect resulted in the loss of almost half a second.
Google PageSpeed Insights
This is another absolutely great FREE tool that all website owners and developers should use. Running the same example, you can see that Google actually gives them even more things to work on.
Google is even more explicit with the diagnostics and suggestions for improvements:
As you can see, this is incredibly valuable information for any website on the face of the planet. Even if certain inefficiencies are being flagged that you know have a good reason for existing, it’s still good to review one’s report to see if there may be any other suggestions that would help with the performance of your site.