10 Ways to Test Your Website Performance

So you’ve replaced with Apache with Nginx, or put Varnish out in front of your main webserver. Or maybe you just spent time converting all your main site images to CSS Data URLs. Either way, you’re now ready to taste the fruits of your work via speed tests. Here are some of the best resources for doing that.

Google Page Speed Online | Google

This is a brand-new service from Google that replicates it’s Page Speed service in online form. It’s focus is not on displaying a visual of the response, but rather on giving recommendations on how to improve speed.

Site-perf.com | Site Performance

This site is very responsive and lets you test from a few different servers — two in the U.S. and two overseas.

Websiteoptimization.com | Website Optimization

This service (and it’s accompanying documentation and guidance around optimization) is one of the best at giving recommendations on what to fix.

Whichloadsfaster.com | Which Site Loads Faster?

This site allows you to compare your site against another to see which loads faster. It also lets you do multiple tests in a row to get a better baseline. Hint: if you load faster than Google’s front page then you’re doing well.

tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ | Pingdom Load Time Test

Pingdom’s test service is perhaps the cleanest in terms of presentation. I find myself using this one quite often.

Browser Load Time Stopwatch | LifeHacker

This is also one of my most-used options for testing speed. It’s different than the others because it’s not a web page, but rather a piece of JavaScript that runs. You add the link to your bookmarks and execute it to test the page you’re currently on.

Google Chrome Page Speed | Extension

The Page Speed chrome extension is phenomenal for getting results that look like a local application in terms of detail and presentation.

Google Chrome Developer Tools | Built-in Tool

Many don’t realize that Google Chrome has a wicked-powerful set of tools built in. By opening the tools from the options menu you not only have the classics that let you manipulate JavaScript, see page layout, etc., but you also have a network display that lets you see what took the longest to load. It’s like a mini Page Speed display without the extension.

YSlow | Browser Extension

YSlow is like Google’s Page Speed, only not quite as advanced and available for more platforms. It’s now available for Chrome as well.

webpagetest.org | Web Page Test

This is another very solid web-based test that gives extremely detailed output with regard to what the request looked like from the browser.

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