performance optimization

5 Tools to Measure Your Website Performance

You’ve probably heard that your website should load in under 2 seconds.

Did you know the average web page size in 2017 was ~2.4 Mb?
And the median page size was ~1.9 Mb.

That doesn’t mean much unless you know that Google recommends a maximum page size of ~500 Kb for optimum mobile performance.

5 Tools to help you measure your website performance

  1. WebPageTest
    Originally developed by AOL, this is an open source project supported by Google. On cable connections, the median Speed Index score is 3.519 [seconds]; the top 10th percentile is <1.388.
  2. Pingdom
    In addition to free performance measurement tools – this site provides uptime monitoring starting at $9.95/month.
    Be sure to choose a test location that best represents your target audience.
  3. GTMetrix
    Also provides performance-optimized managed hosting.
  4. Google PageSpeed Insights
    One of the more well-known and popular testing tools. Provides benchmarks for desktop and mobile views. Good scores > 80. Medium scores = 60 – 79. Below 59 implies significant opportunities for improvement.
  5. Google Lighthouse
    Part of Google Chrome Developer Tools. This open-source, automated tool measures the quality of web pages with audits of best practices, performance, accessibility and search engine optimization.

Website Performance Benchmarks

Be aware that database-driven websites, like WordPress, are optimized when web server requests < 40 – 60. Web server requests are the Javascript, CSS, font, image and other files needed to load your site. These server requests can often contribute more to page latency, up to 75% of page load speed, than overall page size.

Limitations of Website Performance Metrics

Not all measurement tools are created equal. For example, many tools do not evaluate whether your website hosting server runs under HTTP/2. Because HTTP/2 allows multiple, concurrent browser downloads, performance recommendations like concatenation (‘combining web server assets’ – e.g. image sprites) is less important. And tools generally don’t analyze DNS optimization efforts like the quality of your domain registrar and TTL (Time To Live) values.

If your site is not running optimally, please contact me to discuss performance optimization.