GTMetrix | Website Analysis and Optimization Tool | PageSpeed

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GT Metrix

About GT Metrix

Most people will be completely unaware of this tool since it is generally only used by developers to test web sites they are developing. Well, the ones who actually know what they're doing anyway.

The most basic usage is web page load time.

When you type in the URL of a web page and click Analyze, GT Metrix will evaluate the page and return a full report including the basic PageSpeed Score, YSlow Score, Fully Loaded Time, Total Page Size and number of Requests.

Let’s take a quick look at each of these:

PageSpeed Score

This is based on the same algorithm as Google’s PageSpeed, but only evaluates a Desktop environment.

The various tested items will not mean much to the average user, but they are useful to web developers. These items indicate not only the likelihood that a page will load quickly, but that it will load efficiently as well as be displayed consistently across all browsers and be most usable by the average user.

This score should not be below 80. We guarantee 90 or above for our Template Web Site.

YSlow Score

This evaluates slightly different parameters. Most are more relevant to actual page load speed, although there are some that have very little impact. One, “Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)”, requires the user to enter CDN domains into the GT Metrix settings before running a test and should be ignored by the average user.

This score is not used by Google and is a bit more subjective so we place a lower priority on it than the PageSpeed score or the actual page load time.

Fully Loaded Time

This is the amount of time it takes to completely load a page to a point where the user can interact with it. This time should be below 2 seconds. Research has shown that 53% of users will leave a page before it even loads if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Think about that: If you have a pay-per-click ad, your true ad cost is essentially double because more than half of your users are simply leaving after they click your ad, but before they even see your page load.

This is incredibly important and is often completely overlooked by most web developers. They overlook it either due to sheer ignorance or because they simply do not know how to improve it.

The average web page loads many different files – images, JavaScript, CSS, etc. – in addition to the main HTML file in order to load. Improving the loading speed is not simply a matter of optimizing image file size or compressing the other files. Equally as important is knowing the order that files should load in order to most efficiently load everything as quickly as possible. That and knowing what actually has to be loaded in the first place. There are also factors on the web server that must be configured correctly.

Total Page Size

This is simply the total size of all files that must be loaded in order to fully render the page.

The smaller the size the better, but it still does not mean that the page will load quickly. There are many factors to consider – a limited number of files can load at any given time from a single domain, trying to load most of the page prior to a file that is absolutely necessary for many elements to load, etc.

These are things only a truly experienced developer will know and understand and these types of developers are very few and very far between.

Requests

This simply means the number of HTTP requests that must be made in order to load a page.

When you type in a web page URL into the address bar of your web browser, or click on a link, a single request is made to the web server for the main HTML file for that page. As the web browser reads through that file it will find other files that are required and make a request for each of those as well. Each of those requests adds a little time to the overall loading of the page.

However it is not quite that simple. More requests does not always equal a higher overall loading time than less. It is a matter of knowing which items can be loaded concurrently without the additional requests actually adding cumulative time.

There are so many factors that go into the overall loading time of a given web page. We have worked with this extensively for a long time and we can optimize pages to load as fast as possible.

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