Analyzing your WordPress site with Pingdom Website Speed Test tools

In the previous posts of this series, we’ve shared with you some tips you should keep in mind before starting to test your website speed with various tools, and we’ve reviewed the Google PageSpeed Insights service. Today, we’ll focus on the Website Speed Test tools powered by Pingdom.

Analyzing your WordPress site with Pingdom Website Speed Test tools

Pingdom Website Speed Test is another free service used to analyze the speed of a website. This tool should be used together with Google Page Speed Insights, as both tools are complementary.

When testing using Pingdom, you can choose the location from where the test should be made. Currently, you can choose to test a web page speed from various cities in North America, South AmericaEurope, Asia, and Oceania. When testing, take into account where your audience comes from and choose the closest city accordingly, as it’ll impact the results.

Pingdom will give you the following results:

  • Performance grade, which is a letter between A and F based on Google PageSpeed results;
  • The actual load time in seconds;
  • The total page size in kB or MB;
  • The total number of unique requests for that page;
  • How your website compares to the other sites tested on Pingdom.

Like Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom gives some insights to help you get better results, such as identify which files you should minify, how to reduce the number of DNS lookups, and which external CSS files could be combined.

As you can see below, Pingdom also provides you with details such as:

  • the number of requests per response code;
  • the content size by content type;
  • the number of requests by content type;
  • the content size per domain;
  • the requests by domain.

Pingdom - Content size/Requests by domain/content type

The thing I prefer the most with the Pingdom Website Speed Test tool is the file requests timeline (other services call it a waterfall view). It shows you visually how long it takes to load every resource (like CSS, JS, and images) found on the page. For each resource, you’ll know how long it takes for your browser to resolve the DNS, to handle the SSL and to connect to the server. You’ll also see how long your browser is waiting for the server to return data, and how long it takes to send and receive data from the server. For each resource in the timeline, you can also take a look at the response and request headers.

The timeline can be a great tool if you want to identify which specific file is taking longer to load or if an external resource is slowing down the loading time of your website. If you want to speed up your site, you’ll probably want to look for the resources with longer a waiting time.

Pingdom - Waterfall view

Finally, you’ll be happy to know that Pingdom allows you to download your test results in HAR (HTTP Archive) format. For each test you make, don’t forget to download the HAR file, as this will help you to see if things are getting better (or not!) over time.

In the next post of this series, we’ll focus on GTmetrix performance analysis tool.

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Dave Lavoie
Co-Founder of WP Captain, I'm a senior WordPress developer and solutions architect. I lead all WordPress development efforts and provide advanced customer support to our users.

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