How To Use Webpagetest.org to Determine Site Slowness

To test your website’s speed, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s not just your local internet that’s causing the issue. By using website speed tests, you can verify other connections are having similar issues.

If you’re using WordPress®, you can try Troubleshooting Common Issues in WordPress. W3 Total Cache is a performance optimization framework for WordPress, that is designed to work in any type of site or web hosting account.

You can also use free third-party tools to troubleshoot the cause of your site’s slowness and to make a plan for your next moves.

To Use Webpagetest.org to Determine Site Slowness

  1. Go to Webpagetest.org.
  2. Enter your website’s URL.
  3. Pick a test location near your server (North American customers, pick a server in North America. European customers, pick a server in Europe. Asian customers, pick a server in Asia).
  4. Select your browser type from the list.
  5. Click Start Test.

Things to look for:

  • If you see First Byte is slow (longer than 1 second), it indicates slowness at the server itself. This could be because of your site’s program code or plugins.
  • If you see a high number of Requests (more than 100), then your site requires the browser to make a lot of connections to display your site’s content. Try to display less content from third-party sites, combine JavaScript and CSS files, use CSS sprites, and enable caching headers to make the browser do less work.
  • If you see a high number of Bytes in (more than 1,000 KB), then your site requires the browser to download a lot of files before it can display your site’s content.
  • If you see an F for Compress Text, you should try Enabling mod_deflate with Your Hosting Account.

You should repeat the test several times over the course of 10 – 15 minutes to get a more accurate representation of your site.