Testing Web Site Speed to Identify Slow Elements

May 10, 2016

Last week I wrote how Google Tag Manager Simplifies Code, Speeds Site and the various techniques we used in Shaving 66% Off WordPress Web Site Loading Speed. Sure you can just visit a site yourself as a way to test the speed, but it isn’t the most accurate measure. Ideally you want to visit from various locations throughout the world and at different times of day. Rarely will the speed be exactly the same at all times from all places.

pingdom-website-speed-test

One of our loyal readers suggested a tool for testing Web site speed from the folks at Pingdom. If you use the tool manually, it is free. They do offer plans that offer automated testing at a price. Above is a screenshot of the options for testing locations as well as a place to enter the site to be tested.

After the test is run, you’ll see a long list of the various files the page requests, the size of that file and the impact the file had on load time. Even the time is broken down into pieces based on DNS, SSL, connecting to server, sending data, waiting and receiving data. With this information, it is fairly easy to identify the elements slowing down the site so you can address them.

It is also possible that a big delay on an element could simply be a blip on the Internet that goes away if tested again. So test a test, investigate the potential slowdowns and adjust the page until you have a good balance between a great site and great speed.

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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