GTmetrix - Test Your Website Speed Easily and Improve It Effectively (Review 2021)

GTmetrix - Test Your Website Speed Easily and Improve It Effectively (Review 2021)

For website owners, maintaining fast website speed is an obligation. The reason is fast-loading websites bound to give a great user experience for the visitors so that it’s also good for website SEO. To check website speed, you can choose from several website speed test tools.

In this article, we are going to review GTmetrix, one of the most popular and most used speed test tools on the internet.

Getting Started

GTmetrix is a website performance analytics application developed by GT.net, a company best known for the Pingdom speed monitoring tool. GTmetrix’s main goal is to analyze your website’s output and provide you with a list of actionable tips to help you improve it.

Enter your domain name into GTmetrix’s website to get started, then sit back and wait for them to work their magic. You’ll get a performance report with a top-level page speed ranking, loading time, and total page size after a short review period. They’re also given a rundown of some page speed guidelines and how to develop them.

Compared to other speed test tools, GTmetrix is ​​quite easy to use, even for beginners. GTmetrix uses a combination of Google PageSpeed ​​Insights and YSlow to generate its scores and recommendations. You can use the basic version of GTmetrix for free and paid. But for this article, we will cover the free version of GTmetrix.

Also read: Best Website Speed Tools to Assess Your Website Performance on the Internet

What Does GTmetrix Do?

Compile a list of primary performance metrics

The Report Page from GTmetrix conveniently summarizes your page’s results based on main page load speed indicators.

  • Use Google Lighthouse to analyze your page and gain actionable feedback for performance improvements.
  • Track performance metrics such as Largest Contented Paint, Total Blocking Time, and Cumulative Layout Change.
  • Concentrate on the success indicators that are most important to your visitors’ experience.

Use logging, graphs, and warnings to keep track of results

Scheduled tracking allows you to keep track of page results and visualize it with interactive graphs. Set up reminders to let you know when your page isn’t performing well.

  • To ensure maximum results, track pages and run a test on a regular, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Web Vitals, Page Timings, Page Size & Request Counts, and Performance/Structure Scores are four graphs available to visualize performance.
  • Annotate areas of interest on your graph and give your data background
  • Set alerts with a variety of conditions based on Web Vitals, Page Timings, Total Page Size, and so on to find relevant performance history.

Test your page from a variety of angles

Analyze your site’s page load from 65 servers in 22 different locations all over the world:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Busan, South Korea
  • Chennai, India
  • Cheyenne, WY, USA
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Danville, VA, USA
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • London, UK
  • Mumbai, India
  • Paris, France
  • Quebec City, Canada
  • San Antonio, TX, USA
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Singapore
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sydney, Australia
  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Vancouver, Canada

Examine your website on mobile devices.

You can use GTmetrix to test your page on a real Android device or a simulated device.

  • Use GTmetrix’s hardware system to collect real-world mobile performance data. (Only available in our Vancouver Region; no tracking or API access; PRO plans only)
  • Conduct performance simulations on more than 20 different mobile devices and variants.
  • Make your site mobile-friendly and ensure that it loads quickly on all devices.

Options for advanced research for even more details

The Advanced Analysis Options from GTmetrix are available to PRO users:

  • Alter the screen resolution to see how sensitive your page is.
  • For staging/development settings, edit the User-Agent string or add a custom DNS.
  • Create Pre-sets to evaluate commonly used options easily.

Videos are loaded onto the playback tab

You can keep track of how long your pages take to load and pinpoint bottlenecks or stoppages!

  • To diagnose loading problems, slow down your playback up to four times the original speed.
  • Jump to key page load milestones like DNS resolution, first byte, and DOM loading.
  • Use Monitored Alerts in conjunction with a video of the page load that activated the warning (only available to GTmetrix PRO users)
  • Get a frame-by-frame look at your page loading in real-time by viewing it in filmstrip mode.

How to Read GTmetrix Report?

Once you run your test, GTmetrix will show you a summary box containing 5 pieces of information. Not only that, but GTmetrix also provides explanations for each audit and gives you actionable advice.

GTmetrix Summary Box

GTMetrix Summary Box

After running the test, a summary box with the details of the performance results will appear. The GTmetrix Grade shows how fast your page performs (in terms of loading, interactivity, and visual stability) with how well it’s built for optimal performance. This grade better reflects your overall webpage experience as it accounts for, both, your front-end structure, as well as, the actual performance experienced by the user.

This box contains information about:

  1. Performance Score
    How well your page performs from a user perspective. It is essentially the Lighthouse Performance score that measures the loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of your website.
  2. Structure Score
    How well your page is built for optimal performance. This is GTmetrix’s proprietary assessment of Lighthouse and Custom GTmetrix audits.
  3. Largest Contentful Pain (LCP)
    How long it takes for the largest content element (e.g. a hero image or heading text) on your page to become visible to your visitors. For a good user experience, a score of fewer than 1.2 seconds is great.
  4. Total Blocking Time (TBT)
    How much time your page loading process is blocked by scripts. For a good user experience, a score of fewer than 150 milliseconds is great.
  5. Cumulative Layout Shifts (CLS)
    How much layout shift is experienced by visitors as your page loads. For a good user experience, a score of fewer than 0.1 is great.

GTmetrix Analysis Tools

GTMetrix Analysis Tools

Under the summary box, you can see 6 tabs containing the site speed analysis for your website. Mainly, it is the detailed explanations from the summary box’s information. Inside, you can get 6 tabs about:

  1. Summary
    Provides you a complete snapshot of your page’s Performance, Structure, and load behavior.
    Speed Visualization: This gives you more context on the metrics in relation to what your visitors actually experience.
    Top Issues: These audits are identified as the top issues impacting your performance.
    Page Details: Your page content is broken down into total page size and total page request.
  2. Performance
    Shows you your Performance Score metrics in detail based on the performance metrics and browser timings. The performance metrics are generated from LightHouse performance data. On the other hand, browser timings provide additional insights on your page performance and are worth reviewing.
  3. Structure
    Contains all of your Structure-based Lighthouse audits and best practices for optimal web performance.
  4. Waterfall
    Helps you to see how each individual HTTP request loads on your site.
  5. Video
    Lets you film a video of how your site visibly loads.
  6. History
    Lets you track your site’s performance over time.

Why Should I Increase Website Speed?

Website speed is highly related to user experience. A slow-performing website will frustrate your visitors and drive them away from your website. On the other side, a faster and more responsive website will keep them more engaged and focused on your content, rather than waiting for scripts and images to load.

Not only that, but website speed is also affecting SEO. Google already uses page speed in their ranking algorithm, and plan to incorporate Page Experience in their ranking algorithm as well, through the Web Vitals initiative. This means that faster loading sites with a good user experience may rank higher in search engine results. As developers and marketers look to optimize their sites, page speed and page experience should be among the top optimizations to consider.

If you already think your site may be loading fast, it doesn’t mean you do not need to optimize your website speed regularly. As you take some of the best practices into consideration, your website could be even faster. You might even be able to reduce bandwidth and hosting costs by minimizing your footprint.

With GTmetrix, you can easily check your site speed and effectively improve it based on the reports provided by GTmetrix.

How to Improve GTmetrix Score?

Besides scoring your website speed, GTmetrix also gives you the details about things that you can fix or audit to improve your speed. The audits in the report are ordered in terms of which ones have the highest impact on your site. Fixing items at the top of the list can have a bigger impact on your overall score. To sum up, things you need to do are:

  1. Optimize images
  2. Optimize CSS files
  3. Minifying lines of codes
  4. Leverage browser caching
  5. Minimize HTTP requests
  6. Enabling compression
  7. Utilize CDN
  8. Monitor your website performance

Read more: How to Increase Website Speed and Get A Lightning Fast Website in 2021

Is GTmetrix Free?

Yes, you can use GTmetrix for free with the basic plan. All you need to do is register your account on GTmetrix. However, there are several limitations to the basic plan like you can test one website only, limited speed test, and no hourly monitoring.

How Much does GTmetrix Cost?

GTmetrix’s pricing for Pro features is divided for Individual & Professionals plans set and Teams & Companies plans set. Besides that, you can choose whether you want to go for a monthly or yearly term. As for the pricing is pretty decent. There is also a 14-days money-back guarantee if you are considering canceling your subscription.

Individuals & Professionals

GTmetrix offers 4 plans for individuals or small companies.

Basic – Free

(Free) Forever

Solo

For those who need more features and on-demand tests, a basic plan is available.

  • Monthly: $12 per month
  • Yearly: $10 per month

Starter

It’s a great way for freelancers or small companies to start tracking their progress. We recommend you to opt for this plan.

  • Monthly: $24/ month
  • Yearly: $20/ month

Expansion

For those that need further supervision for several pages and situations, this is the best option.

  • Monthly: $47/ month
  • Yearly: $40/ month

Teams & Companies

GTmetrix offers 4 plans for mid-sized and big-sized companies.

Champion

For performance leads or small businesses monitoring multiple pages and scenarios.

  • Monthly: $71/ month
  • Yearly: $60/ month

Team

For mid-sized teams and businesses committed to performance monitoring.

  • Monthly: $188/ month
  • Yearly: $160/ month

Enterprise

For performance teams who built testing into their workflow or who monitor many domains.

  • Monthly: $500/ month
  • Yearly: $425/ month

Custom

Are you looking for something more? You can customize your plans and set the pricing too. Just reach out to GTmetrix!

What Payment Option Does GTmetrix Accept?

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB are all accepted. They can also accept PayPal, Bank/Wire Transfers, Cheque, and Purchase Orders, but these payments must be processed manually, so a yearly Champion plan is needed.

How to Use GTmetrix?

You can’t download GTmetrix because it’s an online-only site. Go to GTmetrix Official Website to use the tool.

After loading the tool, enter the URL of the page you want to evaluate and then press analyze. You may enter the domain of your homepage or a specific page that you want to test for a period of time, for example, you can enter a single blog post to see how quickly it loads if you have blog posts with templates added to them.

Why Should I Use GTmetrix?

There are many benefits you can get from using GTmetrix as your website speed test tool.

  • Provides you with information about how well your site loads and actionable advice for how to improve it.
  • Provides a wealth of information about the success of your website.
  • Gives you a complete picture of how your site loads and assists you in identifying bottlenecks.
  • Can be used to test your pages on a regular, weekly, or monthly basis to ensure that your site remains optimized.
  • Get notified if your page meets a certain criterion!
  • Examine how the site loads in various parts of the world to see how users in that field will perceive it.
  • Examine the output of your page on a real Android phone (only available in the Vancouver region; monitoring & API access not available)
  • Make a video of your page loading and figure out where the bottlenecks are!
  • Build pre-set for commonly used options, and more! Simulate your page load on different devices (phones/tablets) or screen resolutions.

Pros

  • Free & premium
  • Easy to use
  • Quickly assess website overall performance
  • Give detailed information about how to improve site speed

Cons

  • Need more server location test

What are the alternatives to GTmetrix?

Read also: Best Website Speed Testing Tools to Assess Your Website in 2021

Conclusion

GTMetrix is an online site speed test tool. This tool easily tests your site speed and gives detailed information on which part you need to fix in order to improve your website performance. Even though you only run its free test, it is really worth it.

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