WebPagetest is a free website speed test tool made available to the public. Simply enter your website or individual web page URL, followed by selecting your desired location and browser type that you want to test with. Click the “Start Test” button and the test results are out in 3 – 5 minutes.
Since the tool is free to the community, there are many other individuals from all over the world running WebPagetest at the same time. Please be patient to wait for the test results if there happens to be a long queue. On the other hand, you can consider to download and host on your own server for your own usage at convenience.
Test Result Summary Table
Let’s drive into analyzing the website speed test results. The metrics table below is the summary of the test results.
What do each metric means?
Load Time: 11.728s
First Byte: 1.548s
This First Byte time refers to the processing time taken on the server side in order to display the web page. A dynamic web page usually results in a longer First Byte time than a static web page, as the server needs to access database and process the data extraction before loading the dynamic page.
Start Render: 3.653s
This refers to the point of time when the browser start to render and display the content objects
Document Complete Time: 11.728s
Fully Loaded Time: 12.073s
Insights from Test Result Summary Table
The rendering time of 8.075s (Document Complete Time – Start Render Time: 11.728s – 3.653s) and 198 HTTP requests suggest that web page has too many objects to load, which mostly are images for this case.
What can be done?
- Group the commonly used images to create CSS Sprite. This reduces the number of HTTP requests and the rendering time
- Practice the right image compression for all your images. A portrait image saved in GIF format not only displays awfully on the web page but also lead to slower page loading. Seek advice from your web designer if you are unsure of the image formats.
Test Result Waterfall Chart
Now, let’s see how the below Waterfall Chart of the test result can provide us with more insights.
Insights from Test Result Waterfall Chart
What can be done?
- It requires an individual to understand the back-end and technical stuff, before able to analyze insights from the website speed test result metrics. If you are not a technical-savvy individual, suggest that you can consult someone with technical background.
- It is vital to relate the website speed to the business benefits. How much has your website speed improved after implementing the changes? Has the load time improvements garner better more visits or conversion on you website? By answering these questions, it set you thinking whether to spend effort in optimizing your website speed.
Reference: WebPagetest Documentation