Home Forums WordPress, blogging, SEO New GTMetrix speed test: Is your web site slow?

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  • #4384 Reply

    GTMetrix is one of the most popular online tools for measuring the speed of your website (but do remember to check your popular posts and not just the home page.

    It has recently had a major update and this means that your old speed scores no longer apply. GTMetrix says that the old tests used old methods and occasionally, in some cases, they were not right anyway and didn’t reflect real world usage.

    The new GTMetrix score is based on Google Lighthouse performance, which measures things in a different, and hopefully, more realistic way. Lighthouse looks at things like the time to first paint, time to largest content paint, such as the largest image on the page, and so on.

    The new test is based on a Google test and so it should show more accurately what Google thinks of your website performance, which in turn affects your search ranking.

    Read this GTMetrix blog post explaining the new test and scores, then check your site speed again. Is it higher or lower?

    #4407 Reply

    My GTMetrix score has gone right down. It’s pretty bad at Grade E – 36%. The biggest problem seems to be the time to first byte, which is an awkward one to fix and it is nearly 50% of the total time to load the page.

    It’s not like I can suddenly make the server faster, well, not without paying for a server upgrade. Maybe I need to switch web hosts. It is such a hassle though. I have Autoptimize plugin, but probably need a cache of some sort.

    #4462 Reply
    Roland Waddilove

    It is worth bearing in mind that there are said to be over 200 factors that affect Google search ranking and that speed is only one of them. I am not convinced it is a big factor. Unless your website is extremely slow, I don’t think speeding it up will make a huge difference to where you appear in search results.

    This does not mean that we can ignore speed issues and a fast site is more pleasant for visitors to browse. Slow sites are frustrating, but some of the biggest sites on the web are slower than you might think. I have measured top websites and got page load times of 10+ seconds.

    It is a good idea to make your site as fast as you can, but don’t lose sleep over it. Use GTMetrix and other website performance testing tools, like Pingdom Website Speed Test, and see what you can do to speed up your site if it is slow. Reducing the load time from 10 seconds to 5 seconds makes a big difference, but reducing it from 2 seconds to 1 second does not have as big a benefit compared to the effort you have to put in. In fact, it may not be noticeable.

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