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Danillo Leite - Marketing Strategy Expert

How to Properly Run a Website Speed Test

How to Properly Run a Website Speed Test:  Speed, Speed and more Speed. When it comes to your WordPress site, speed is important. This a fact. Why? First off, website speed is a significant factor in Google’s algorithm.

How to Properly Run a Website Speed Test

Fast-loading websites can expect to rank higher in the SERPs and attract more visitors. Second, there are all the user experience considerations. If a site loads quickly, visitors are more likely to stick around, read your content, and ultimately convert. In other words, a lightning-quick website unlocks all the good things that webmasters crave.

However, I’m not here today to talk about “How to make your website faster” ok?

I’m here to discuss another common problem I see WordPress Users around the word making on a daily basis, and that is running a Website Speed Test incorrectly.

You might not think this is that big of a problem. But in reality, it is when you’re trying to gauge improvements.

How to Properly Run a Website Speed Test

How to Properly Run a Website Speed Test

If you run a website speed test the wrong way, it might appear that your site is slower, when actually it’s faster.

So below, we’ll dive into the proper way to run a website speed test along with some tools you can use to tangibly measure your site’s speed and track any improvements.

Before You Run a Website Speed Test
Before running a speed test, you should check to see if you have the following two things already configured and running on your WordPress site:

  • Caching
  • Content Delivery Network

If you don’t know, check with your web developer or hosting provider. And if you’re launching a brand new site, make sure to set these things up first, and then run your speed tests.

  • Configure Caching
  • CDN
    • Enable Content Delivery Network

How to Properly Run a Website Speed Test

Now that you have caching configured and a CDN enabled, it’s now time to dive into how to properly speed test your WordPress site. There are a lot of different tools you can use to measure the performance of your site. You can check out a full list further below. For this example, we are going to using Pingdom, one of the most popular and commonly used tools.

  • Speed Test Location Matters
    • Almost every speed test tool allows you to choose from different testing locations around the globe, and this matters quite a bit. The reason is that this is all relative to the data center where your WordPress site is hosted. TTFB, network latency, all come into play.

So it’s important to speed test your site both from a location that is close to your data center and one that is far away. This will also help you see how much of an impact the CDN has on your WordPress site. You can also disable your CDN temporarily and re-test again without to really see the difference.

Whatever you do, be consistent with the location you choose.

You Have to Test Multiple Times

We won’t go too deep into caching in this article, but just remember that this is what makes your WordPress site load super fast (both caching from your WordPress host or plugin and your CDN).

The big problem is that many users tend to only run a speed test once, the content isn’t cached on the WordPress host or CDN yet, and then it appears that the site is actually slower. This can also happen if you just cleared your WordPress site or CDN’s cache.

How can you tell that your content or media isn’t serving from cache?

It’s easy. Every speed test tool shows you what are called HTTP headers (also known as response headers). These contain important information about each request.

Free Tools

SEO free tools.

  • Pingdom
    • Pingdom is a market-leading website monitoring service, best known for its free website speed testing tool. The speed testing tool displays all of your site’s requests in a waterfall view. You can filter by load order, file size, and load times, giving you different perspectives for identifying potential improvements – it also lists total requests, load time, and page size.

      It has gained popularity over the years due to the fact that it is super easy to use, especially when compared to similar speed test tools.

    • For beginners,
    • Pingdom can be a great way to start.
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
    • Google has said since 2010 that page speed is an important ranking factor for SEO.
      • To help you improve your site’s speed, Google has its very own speed testing tool, Google PageSpeed Insights, which measures the performance of a page for
        • Mobile Devices and
        • Desktop Devices.
  • Google Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool
  • Google Analytics Site Speed
  • WebPageTest
  • GTMetrix
  • KeyCDN Website Speed Test
  • DareBoost
  • Web Page Analyzer
  • YSlow
  • Chrome DevTools
  • Load Impact

Do you need any help? Ask for Danillo Leite SEO Expert

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1 Comment

  1. Hey Danillo,
    You have listed very nice tips and I loved these methods to test website speed. As per my recommendation google page speed is the best!

    Thanks!

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