5 Online Tools to Check Page Load Speed

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Pingdom page load speedWhy should you care about your page load speed time? For starters people are not going to stick around long if your site loads pathetically slow. I know I don’t stick around waiting for slow loading sites and pages.

But my site always loads fast for me you say. Are you sure about that? Most likely you visit your own site on a regular basis, probably at least once per day if not more. Your web browser is caching those visits locally on your computer so each additional visit it should subsequently load faster. Not all your visitors will be daily regular visitors so they won’t have any cached hits or requests in their browser like you do. Clear your browser cache and revisit your page and see just how much slower your site loads. After doing so, it would be similar to what a first time visitor experiences when visiting your website.

You may have a very fast internet connection, but don’t count on every visitor to have the same. There are plenty of suburban and rural areas not just here in the U.S., but also numerous locations around the world that do not have a 10Mbps+ internet connection available to them. You do welcome visitors with slower internet connections too right?

Your theme or template looks great, but does it slow your load speed? Many themes and templates look amazing, but they can be overloaded with images and graphics that are larger than they really need to be. They sometimes include borderline excessive js, css code, and files that really could be trimmed down. Some theme and template designers forget about page speed and SEO. They focus primarily on WOW’ing visitors with pretty graphics, but they forget that it takes more than a fancy design to WOW Google. Google doesn’t care if your site looks pretty or not. It can be tough to find a balance between a great looking theme or template, and one that is optimized for speed and SEO all in one.

There are a lot of posts that have been circulated ever since Google mentioned that in certain cases they will take site or page load speed into consideration when ranking. I am not totally on board with this one, at least not at the time of this post. I don’t know about Google in other countries, but I haven’t seen anything noticeably different in search results in Google.com. If they are ranking by load speed the number of affect sites, pages, or searches must be a very small number or percentage. I think you should be more concerned about page speed for your visitors rather than for Google. People stick around much longer when sites and pages load fast. Your visitors will be happy that your site loads fast, and if Google happens to notice that too then even better. I would be more concerned about how Google+ effects search results and what kind of role it will play in SEO.

Plugins, modules, and other modifications can certainly slow down your website too. You would be surprised how much just one of these little guys can slow things down. Avoid hosting and server resource intense plugins, modules, and modifications. Don’t go on an installation spree just because someone said you should install something. Weigh the benefits vs. the drawbacks. For the WordPress users out there you can use this to test your installed plugins to see how resource intense they happen to be:
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/p3-profiler/

 

5 tools to check page load speed

These online testing tools can be very helpful in determining how your site loads in different locations around the world. You really should test your site on occasion. You might test at different times of the day to see if there are any noticeable differences. Try different locations to see if it has any impact. Your site may load slower depending on where in the world your hosts server is located and where you are testing from.

Another thing you can do is run these page load speed tests before you make change’s to your website and then again after to see if the changes slow things down. Run a test before you change templates or themes, before installing a plugin, module, or making other modifications.

Test similar sites or sites you admire to see how yours compares.

Pingdom
Test from 3 different locations – New York, NY USA, Dallas, TX USA, or Amsterdam, Netherlands. Pingdom randomly selects a location for you, but optionally you can choose a specific test location in the settings menu if you wish. Pindom provides impressive results and details.

GTmetrix
A great page load speed and performance analyzer. Test location seems to be only from Canada at this time, but nonetheless it is a great tester. It also helps determine and identify areas you might work on improving.

WebPageTest
They provide multiple test locations around the world. Webpagetest is a great page load speed tester with plenty of details and suggestions. It provides impressive detailed results, score/rating, tips you might use to improve your website, and much more.

Site-Perf
This one I don’t see mentioned as much as I used to. I personally like SitePerf. It is fast, easy to use and understand. At the time of this post they have 5 different test locations available to choose from.

WebSiteOptimization
This one has been around for a long time now. It seems to be suited more for standard html based sites, but can provide some input for php database driven sites as well.

Pingdom page load speed

 

Other Tests

Justping
A quick ping time tester that checks from multiple locations around the world.

Watchmouse
A quick resolve, connect, download time checker. Tests from 8-10 different locations around the world. You can use it 5 times per day. You can also run Ping, DNS Analysis, and Traceroute.

Watchmouse Test

You don’t need to run these tests on a frequent basis, but they are worth using to test and re-test your website or pages several times per year. If you are thinking about making changes to your website they are also great for before and after tests.

About: Jeremy LeSarge - AKA: Ray (209 Posts)

I am the site owner and administrator of DialMe.com. I provide help and tips for Boonex Dolphin on the main part of this website where you will also find an assortment of other resources. Here, on the blog I write about a variety of topics surrounding WordPress, technology, social media/networking, SEO, and webmaster resources.




30 Comments

  1. James

    Reply

    It is important to check your page load speed in order not to turn off your customers. In that way, you could maintain their interest. At the same time, you could actually add lots of stuffs in your page.

  2. Reply

    Hi. These are pretty good tools to check for your page speed and I don’t think there is any other better than these ones. One of my favorite is PingDom. They allow for you to get alerts when your site goes up or down and notify you via email. Even better, it is free 🙂 Another tool I recommend, is WhichLoadsFaster. It is great to compare your sites speed with that of your competitors 🙂
    DiTesco recently posted..How To Find WordPress Plugins That Affect Your Sites Performance?My Profile

    • Reply

      I really like Pingdom too. It is fast and easy to understand the results. I forgot about WhichLoadsFaster. I have used that one for a few tests when comparing a competitor, which it is great for.

  3. Ann

    Reply

    Hi James,
    You are so right. The presentation of your page, including it’s loading speed is part of your overall professionalism. Most of the people I know, will NOT wait for a page to load and they know me. Very good subject and article.

    • Reply

      I am not extremely patient when it comes to page load times. I will give it the benefit of the doubt, but after about 10 seconds of nothing I usually move along.

  4. Anna

    Reply

    I found the loading speed very important because we must say that no one likes waiting Besides during this time”spent in vain” we lose our concentration, get bored and after that giving a lower park to the blog or the site.

    • Reply

      Everyone seems to want faster and almost instant results now. People don’t have as much patience as they used to back in the dialup internet days.

  5. Harriet

    Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I recently downloaded Google Chrome and although my internet loading times have been mch improved, there still times when pages don’t load as quickly as I would like. I’ll check these out. Thank you.

    • Reply

      Sometimes a page or site will temporarily load slow because the server has a backup running. Could be a spike in traffic, network issue or a number of other things. You can try running these test at different times of the day to see if results are better.

  6. Reply

    It is debatable on whether or not page load time effects your SEO rankings but it’s always better be safe than sorry. However there’s no doubt that a slow site will definitely reduce the amount of pages that a potential visitor will visit and this is obviously not good. Just checked mine with Pingdom and clocked around 2.90s on 3 locations so I guess mine is doing ok 🙂
    Peter Lee recently posted..How Safe Are Cell Phones?My Profile

    • Reply

      I know a lot of people don’t have much patience anymore with high speed fast paced technology. I used to hear something about a 10 second rule. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were more like a 5 second rule now. If a site isn’t doing something in 5-10 seconds people move along to the next. Of course there are a lot of other things to consider. I couldn’t even imagine how long some pages would take to load with dialup anymore…3 minutes, 5 minutes, or more just to load a page perhaps.

  7. Reply

    I always do keep an eye on web page load speed. I do test my pages before installing certain widgets. So far I have been using Pingdom and GTmetrix. I haven’t tried the other ones.

  8. Reply

    Scary stuff. I always keep one eye on page load speeds using SEO Doctor. Having detailed information like this has really opened my eyes. Maybe not quite what I wanted to see but certainly what I needed to see.
    Thank’s for sharing these very useful SEO tools.
    Steve recently posted..AN Easy Way To Check On Page SEOMy Profile

  9. Becca

    Reply

    My patience is not that long if the site is loading too long I move on
    another site to not waste my time.

  10. Tan

    Reply

    pingdom has been block by my previous hosting provider. I use it to check my websites uptime, but my current host told me it is not reliable at all. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply

      Maybe your host doesn’t have good uptime and they just tell you that so you won’t complain about your host. I like to keep tabs on my hosts uptime. I know some hosts do a better job than others when it comes to uptime.

      • Tan

        Reply

        That’s why I move to my current host. But loading speed may vary from different location.

  11. Jean

    Reply

    Thanks for recommending these tools. Page load speeds and site response times are always something I think about and hope are properly optimized by my provider. In the past, I’ve had complaints from my visitors about slower browsing and I have tried to stay away from those providers in the future.

    -Jean

  12. Reply

    Well, I do not really believe that the loading speed is a key factor – well, of course i plays a role, but the time the visitors stay on your site, the number of hits, the optimisation of the content, the user interface – these are the criteria I would rank first in terms of priority for the optimisation. Compared to these ones, loading speed is smth nice to have, but if a bit slower that at your competitors’ sites – not critical at all 🙂

    • Reply

      Google mentioned speed being a factor in their algorithm a while back. If I remember right it was something like 1% of search results would be impacted. Nothing to go on a week long optimizing task that’s for sure, but always a better user experience if a site loads faster.

  13. Reply

    I am happy to visit this post.You have shared very good information here.It is good to check page load speed and these websites look very helpful in this case.Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  14. Pete Goumas

    Reply

    I really like this informative post on page load speed.Some bloggers dont keep in mind page speed value and this drop-x can be found on these websites.

    • Reply

      There have been some studies and I forget the exact number, but something like if a side doesn’t load in 4 seconds on a pc, or 10 seconds on a mobile people leave. Page load speed will definitely help. Of course you need some decent content to keep them interested too.

  15. Reply

    I don’t wait for a page that seems to load for a year! It’s not really helping. It will only irritate you and disgust you.

    • Reply

      People sure don’t stick around very long when a page is slow loading anymore. There are plenty of other sites that load fast that they can find what they are looking for.

  16. Sean

    Reply

    I’d have to agree with you there … pages that take forever to load only make people want to click the Back button.

    But with computer speed these days, most average sites should load pretty fast, unless they have really heavy images or videos that are set to stream automatically.

    Thanks for sharing the resources though.

  17. Thomas B

    Reply

    Really nice article – these tools really are invaluable for getting under the bonnet and seeing just where and what elements of your site are slowing it down. I’d also recommend StatusCake.com’s tool which to me feels a nice alternative to Pingdom.

    • Reply

      Thanks for the suggestion. Pingdom is a nice tool, but it’s always nice to check out alternatives and do some comparing.

  18. Reply

    Awesome post! Thank you for sharing your tools on how to Check Page Load Speed. I love this post and it is very informative. Great job. Keep posting!

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