Device and browser selection
You may wish to test your website from different browsers and devices depending on various circumstances. A good testing tool should allow you to do so.
GTmetrix lets you test your website from a device and browser combination of your choice, which includes mobile phones. However, you need to register for a free account to customize these options.
PageSpeed Insights shows you two sets of scores and results – one each for desktop and mobile. However, you do not have much customization ability to select which mobile device to test your website on.
Pingdom Tools does have an option to test your website through mobile devices.
WebPageTest allows you to specify a browser – a device combination too with a large number of available devices for you to choose from.
The load time of a website also depends on the test location vs the server location. This is because it takes a few (milli)seconds for each request to travel if the user and server are located far away. This small delay may lead to an increase in page load time. If your customers are primarily from one region of the globe, your server should be as close to them as possible.
- GTmetrix allows you to specify the test locations, which cover most major regions in the world. You would need to register to customize this feature.
- PageSpeed Insights does not allow to specify a location, which is most probably internally calculated based on the server location.
- Pingdom Tools and WebPageTest also allow you to select locations. The most variety in the location choice lies with WebPageTest.
An important feature among these testing tools to carefully analyze bottlenecks in your website design and structure is the waterfall of the page’s loading sequence. During the webpage load, a browser sequentially requests for resources like stylesheets, images and scripts. A waterfall chart visually shows the time each resource takes to load, and how it stands with respect to the overall loading of the page.
GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools and WebPageTest all show you a waterfall chart to deep dive into the resources of your site.
This article was written by Shaumik Daityari and originally published on CodeinWP.