Is your Magento eCommerce website taking too long to load? Wondering how to make it faster? The first thing you will need to do is run some speed tests.
Having a website that loads fast is a priority for merchants. A slow website frustrates your customers and could lead to them going to your competitor’s website; thus making you lose sales.
Why is a faster site crucial to increase sales on your website? Here are a few points….
- Page abandonment rates increase as the page load time increases from two to five secs
- Mobile users expect website pages to load as quickly on their mobile as it does on their desktop
- Studies indicate that 79% of shoppers will avoid shopping again on a site that was slow
To ensure your Magento eCommerce website is competitive, you need to test and ensure that it is working as it should. So before you make your site faster, you should test the current performance of your site.
There are many free tools to check the speed of your website. We have listed five of the recommended Free tools to test the speed of your Magneto eCommerce website:
Google Pagespeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool by Google to help you evaluate the performance of your website. The tool gives scoring for both Mobile and Desktop; and provides suggestions on how to improve the speed of the website page.
Submit the URL of your Magento eCommerce website and Google will analyse it. It provides both Lab data and real world data. The score provided summarizes the page’s performance – score of 90 or above is considered fast, 50 to 90 is considered average and below 50 is considered to be slow.
PageSpeed Insights audit provides suggestions of optimizations that can be done on the page to improve the speed along with the estimate of how much faster the page will load if the suggestion is implemented. Also included are the audits that have passed.
GTMetrix ia a popular webpage test tool that is free to use and shows detailed results. An advantage of this tool is that it analyses your website page combining both PageSpeed and YSlow. The overview of the results shows you the browser and location used for testing, Performance scores (PageSpeed and YSlow), page load time, total page size and number of requests. Similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, the GTmetrix test also suggests solutions to speed up your Magento eCommerce website.
PageSpeed and YSlow have slightly different methodologies of analysing a website’s structure and its impact on the speed. The results are graded and the color code indicates the health of the parameter. The parameters are sorted based on the order of impact on the score. They also provide recommendations for making the page faster.
The Waterfall view displays the list of requests on the page and how each request impacts the load time of the page. You can expand the request details for advanced diagnostics. Some features of the results such as recording a video of the page load are available to registered users. You can create a free account and save up to 20 speed tests.
Pingdom Tools is another free online tool that you can use analyse the speed of your Magento eCommerce website. The reports on Pingdom include a waterfall breakdown, performance grade, page analysis and history.
All you need to get started is to enter the URL of your eCommerce website, select a Test area and start the test. The Pingdom tool allows you to test your website’s speed from seven different locations around the globe.
The result overview indicates the performance grade, total page size, total load time and number of requests. The detailed results provide you with performance insights, similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, with indications of where you can make improvements. The results are broken down as page size and number of requests; by content type and by domain. All file requests are provided in a waterfall format showing the exact order in which each element is loaded on a page.
Pingdom Pro has a host of handy features such as Uptime monitoring of hosting, page speed reports with historical data, transaction reports of user interactions, real user monitoring like Google Analytics and alerts.
With Webpage Test you can run a free website speed test from around the globe using real browsers at consumer connection speeds with detailed optimization recommendation. You can run both a simple test and an advanced test of your Magento eCommerce website.
For load time analysis, you have several choices of location spanning North and South America, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Oceania. In addition you can select to analyse your website using a selection of devices (including mobiles) and browsers.
The uniqueness of the Webpage Test is that it provides a first view and repeat view, which helps diagnose the first time DNS lookup. The grading on Webpage Test is from F to A based on different performance tests such as Time to First Byte, compression, caching, effective use of CDN, etc. The report is divided into six sections – summary, details, performance review, content breakdown and screenshots.
The waterfall breakdown is not as detailed as GTMetrix as you do not have the option to expand individual elements. However, the test results provide you with a filmstrip and video view of the page load. A technical and highly useful graph of the results is the Connection View, which helps you find out whether it is the initial connection, DOM content or the on load time that is adding to the total load time of your website page. The Request Details provide times for request start, DNS lookup, initial connection, SSL negotiation, time to first byte, content download and bytes download for each request on the page.
YSlow is a free and open source tool that you can use to analyse your Magento eCommerce website; and tells you why it is slow. The tool requires an installation as an add-on to your browser. YSlow’s web page analysis is based on 23 Yahoo!’s rules for website performance (the Yahoo! Exceptional Performance tea has identified 34 rules that affect the performance of a web page).
Once you have installed YSlow, you can visit the page you want to inspect and click the YSlow plugin on your browser. The YSlow interface appears at the bottom of the page with an option to Run Test.
YSlow works in three phases
- Crawls the DOM to find all the components (images, stylesheets, scripts, etc.) in the page
- Gets information about each component – size, whether gzipped, expires header, etc.
- Generates a grade for each rule; and calculates an overall grade
The overall performance of your website is a score from 0 to 100. The scores for the individual components are from A to F. It is easy to understand which areas need improvement on the site.
YSlow does not have the waterfall feature; but has the Content breakdown and Components information.
Given here are a few of the common website speed test tools that you can use to test the speed of your Magento eCommerce website. There are several others available, both free and paid, from which you can choose.
As the world of eCommerce evolves, it is important that you test the load time of your website and make necessary changes if it does not meet the requirements; so as to ensure that is ranks as high as possible. Speed is an important aspect of great user experience and you need to ensure that your website does not load slowly. Regularly test your Magento eCommerce website and make improvements.