Why do you need to know the website speed?
Before we start measuring the speed of our websites through all those different tools; we need to make something clear first. You measure exactly what your website speed is for a few reasons: so that the user can get better quality served; he does not have to wait as long and he does not go through his data bundle. Another reason could be because you want to be easily found via search engines and because you like to earn money with your website, for example. Can, doesn't have to!
If you haven't read it yet, here's a nice article about why your website speed is important.
The 6 free tools
Good! Now that you know why you want to measure your website speed, let's now show you how to measure website speed. Fortunately, the choice is huge and you can choose from the 6 most well-known (and free) tools that we list for you below. You can consult them all to get a good idea of the speed of your website!
The following tools check your website for speed / loading time and are all free to use:
Perhaps the most important and widely used tool is that of Google: Pagespeed Insights. It uses an "algorithm" called Lighthouse and distinguishes between two device types. The distinction between mobile and desktop. The reason for this is quite simple: you use your mobile phone differently than your laptop or desktop computer. Mobile phones 'often' also do not have a WiFi connection, so 'lighthouse's algorithm' takes this into account. You will see the result in two 'tabs'. One for mobile and desktop. You will then see clearly below what your score is per tested component with any recommendations.
Then GTMetrix is a widely used and very interesting measurement. GTMetrix quickly gives you a very comprehensive picture of the speed of your website. With the special feature that he splits the results into a Pagespeed score and a YSlow score. Pagespeed scores are generated based on 'a slightly older version' of Google's Pagespeed algorithm (which version we don't know). That score of GTMetrix 'Pagespeed' and Google Pagespeed Insights can therefore differ slightly.
GTMetrix also makes a YSlow score based on the test that Yahoo! made for testing website speed. In broad terms, it means here again: useful tips that you can apply to improve your website speed.
Pingdom uses its own algorithm to measure website speed. At Pingdom you have the option to select a location. The test is then run from that location. What actually happens is the same algorithm that maps your website speed, is then played through a computer in that country. That way you can see whether your website can also be viewed properly in Brazil. If you have a lot of visitors who are travelling... Are you going on a world trip yourself and do you want to be able to look at your website? Check it first via Pingdom and ensure the necessary optimization when it comes to website speed.
WebPageTest gives you very handy 'waterfalls' that your computer / browser will have to choose. All requests that he makes and everything that is in principle communicated between computer and server is in there. Sometimes it is better to postpone certain requests, for example. Or do you have to have a specific request executed earlier so as not to get in the way of the rest. Very handy!
(select a region from which you want to test)
Uptrends is also a handy tool to use for testing your website speed. This source 'probably' uses the Pagespeed algorithm (ie Lighthouse). But he shows the score that people with a desktop get back. In other words: this can give a bit of a distorted picture. Uptrends does allow you to perform that test from a specific location on the globe. Handy as a kind of Desktop check of Pagespeed Insights via a different location. Then you don't have to work with proxies yourself. At Uptrends, take a look at the waterfall they generate. Handy things!
(global check from all corners of the world)
And as a final tool to test your website speed: Sucuri. Sucuri is best known for its 'WordPress' hack-testing tool. But they also have a kind of 'global' speed measurement. In practice, websites do not have to achieve an A+ score worldwide. If this is important to you, ask yourself first: is my customer from that country? How much is he worth to me? Can more customers become from that country if my website gets faster? If you answer those questions with yes, a lot and yes, then make your website faster with the tips from Sucuri!