Free tools like Google PageSpeed and Pingdom and GTMetrix are very useful to check the optimization of a website and its server. In fact, we here at LittleBizzy LOVE these free tools and use them often. However, certain problems often arise because of the misunderstanding involved with these tools. Firstly, its important to realize that these tools are testing your speed from various locations around the world. For Google PageSpeed, this location is the USA and Google actually doesn’t even disclose their actual server location. So if you are testing a server in a Singapore datacenter for example, PageSpeed may say “server response” is slow(er) than recommended. Pingdom is the best tool for testing “real” loading speeds from various locations as you can easily change the test location on each test run. Still, Pingdom’s locations are very limited so again it works best for sites hosted in the USA or Western Europe. GTMetrix recently revamped their tool and now offers a PRO version where users can specify the test location but on general tests the location is usually in Canada, which is a very poor choice on their part in fact. Overall, take these tests with a grain of salt. The most important thing is how fast sites load for actual “end users” i.e. the customers loading your site in their web browser. The other recommendations in these speed tests are very helpful as far as code optimization, but the “loading speed” measurements vary greatly depending on various factors. Whenever possible, choose the test location that is nearest your actual server location, so if your VPS with LittleBizzy is located in New York, then use Pingdom’s New York test location to test your site performance.Last modified: 4 Sep, 2015
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