In a previous post from April 2018, Testing WordPress Performance and Site Speed, I discussed an article describing five online tools for testing the page load speeds for your website.
Most of these simply test a webpage from the URL submitted and report relative site speed of that page (it’s not always clear relative to what exactly – presumably all other webpages that tool has tested) and then make suggestions on how you can improve the performance of that page.
Pingdom allows you to select from one of three locations to use to test your page load speed.
WebPagetest expands on this by offering a choice of several locations around the world and in addition allows you to check your page speed with a choice of browsers and devices.
More recently, I learned about a new online tool which is similar to those discussed above but with several significant improvements: Website Speed Test | Dotcom-Tools.
Dotcom-Tools adds the following features to those offered by their competitors:
- Tests browser-based load time of all page elements
- Detects slow or missing elements
- Tests from your selection of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or various mobile web browsers
- Provides a complete waterfall report with charts and graphs
- Displays results from nearly two dozen global locations all in the same report
- Conducts tests from each location twice, with the second visit cached to allow you to estimate the effectiveness of the various caching systems used by your page
These tests are all absolutely free with no sign-up required.
Dotcom Web Site Monitoring also offers a selection of various paid plans as well. In addition to the features of the free service described above, the Pro plans offer Website Performance Monitoring starting at $7.99 USD per month for their BrowserView plan. Additional optional features include:
- Continually monitor web page load times in IE, Chrome and Firefox
- Monitoring Packages configured by desired tasks per month
- Choose from 1 up to 200 tasks, or go à la carte and pay only for what you use
- Monitor tasks every 3 hours (Green Package) or as often as every minute (Platinum Package)
- Premium monitoring locations available
There is a free 30 day trial of the Pro plans with no credit card required.
At this point, I have tested the free Dotcom-Tools Website Speed Test on a couple of my own sites and the results are quite impressive. I did notice that on the second cached test, the load times increased rather than decreased for a few locations. I’m not yet sure what that means.
Disclaimer: Matt Schmitz, Web Performance Engineer at Dotcom-Monitor, contacted me after reading my previous post to tell me about their service. When I indicated that I would update my post to include results for their tool, he offered me a free lifetime monitoring account as a thank you for doing so. I assure you that while I greatly appreciate his offer, it has not influenced my review of their service in any way.
I will check out the Dotcom Web Site Monitoring services and report back later. In the meantime, I recommend that you try the free tool described above and comment on your own experience.