The complete Guide for using WebPageTest (and getting the most out of its result) (r) (r)

May 13, 2023
A computer monitor hooked up to WebPageTest to make a website faster

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Every website must run as quick as is possible. Achieving a high-quality website's performance means staying on highest level throughout every entire day. This means constantly monitoring your site's performance, changing it to make improvements while also ensuring each page provides the best user experience.

This article will be a detailed examination of WebPageTest and how you can profit from this program. Additionally, we'll show how to conduct tests and evaluate the results. We'll then discuss the pros and cons of using software, and talk about cost. Let's get going!

What do you mean by WebPageTest?

WebPageTest is described as a robust open-source software application specifically designed to help webmasters and administrators of websites that want to assess and increase their website's effectiveness.

WebPageTest homepage

The document provides an in-depth examination of load times and their relationship with the speed of rendering and how the network is utilized. Furthermore, it provides an in-depth study of every component of the page that allows you to identify weak spots as well as bottlenecks.

It was introduced in 2008 and has remained operational since its inception. WebPageTest is among the most well-known performance testing services for web sites. Its initial goal was to be an internal tool for testing the performance of AOL (yes it's quite old).

After that, WebPageTest was released under an open-source license. WebPageTest's site was created.

WebPageTest's main features are:

  • Simulation tests for various regions around the world
  • Analysis of the rendering process for websites and loading techniques including filmstrips and waterfall charts

There is a way to be tested on your abilities with the help of WebPageTest that is completely absolutely free. WebPageTest comes with a cost-free plan that allows you to take tests on a variety of occasions every month. You can also get outcomes with greater depth.

One reason to use WebPageTest

There's an array of kindsof web-based performance instruments that are available. The majority of them are no cost and the volume of data you receive depends on the instrument that you pick.

Yet, WebPageTest has a number of features that make it superior to other program. Here are a few of them:

  • Check for performance issues. WebPageTest helps you identify potential bottlenecks in addition, areas of improvement permitting customers to improve your site.
  • Increase search engine rank. Site speed is an essential factor in search engine rankings. In search engines such as Google more speedy websites will rank higher when searching results.
  • Monitoring speed as time passes. Regular testing with WebPageTest allows you to examine the efficiency of your website and detect any issues prior to they turn into serious issues. It is possible to monitor the efficiency of your website for a full year using the free plan that is more than enough to spot the trends.

Additionally, WebPageTest presents the results in an easy manner. It is a great resource when you're just beginning to understand the world of testing performance and optimization:

Performance summary by WebPageTest
WebPageTest Summary of Performance

Apart from these concise outline, you'll also see numbers that pertain to the effectiveness of your website. In the following section we'll teach you how you can analyze these figures.

How do I Find the Most Effective Way to Utilize WebPageTest?

Conducting tests using WebPageTest is easy. In the beginning, you'll need to sign up for your account free of charge and you won't need to enter the data required to make a payment.

Starting a test on WebPageTest
The test is started with WebPageTest

In order to ensure that you get the best result, we advise testing both mobile and desktop tests. Additionally, we recommend that you choose a test place that is close to the server to ensure that test results do not be affected by distance.

If there's no configured area that can be utilized for testing select an Advanced Configuration option. There are other options for testing, in addition to setting advanced settings.

Configuring the settings on WebPageTest
Choose your preferred settings

If you're pleased with the configuration, you may click "Start Testing". It will take couple of seconds for the tests to be created after which, once they've been created, you'll be able to have access to a full report of tests.

How to interpret WebPageTest Test Results

One of the main problems with programs like WebPageTest is the fact that they offer a wealth of details to the users who complete tests. It's not an issue if you are aware of the precise measurements you must examine. However, it can be a bit daunting as you're attempting it for the first time.

For you to understand the findings, you'll need be aware of the following features in what you will find in the WebPageTest report. There's the first section that's known by the name of the"Performance Summary" section. This section offers a comprehensive overview of the results your website has achieved. This report informs you about how your site's performance in terms of reliability, efficiency as well as user-friendly.

Opportunities and Experiments section on WebPageTest
Opportunities and Experiments

You can select icons in each category for more details. Each category has information on the parts that were tested with the results. If there's a glitch within the site, it will be identified by the reason that caused it and offer solutions to address the problem.

Largest contentful paint
The most comprehensive and extensive in terms of content is the paint

If you're on the main report page, you'll be able to navigate to the on-page performance metrics section. There's a range of indicators to show the amount of time required to load and when it will be completely functional.

Page performance metrics on WebPageTest
Metrics of page performance

If you're not certain regarding what this symbol means and mean and the significance of each we will give you some guidelines:

  • . This metric is used to determine the amount of time for the website to respond to the first request of the browser. Servers that are slow may require some time to respond, which could reduce the speed of loading overall.
  • Initial render. This tells you the amount of time it will take for the site to show its clearly visible elements. It could indicate that the website is operating behind the scenes and, until a user notices something, they might not be able to tell if the website is operating correctly.
  • First Contentful Paint (FCP): This is the time frame for rendering the initial piece of information that is displayed on the page. Lower FCP means a faster loading website.
  • Speed index. A composite score which measures how fast the web page's content can be noticed by users. The smaller the score, more valuable the information.
  • . This metric will inform you of the amount of time it will take to load the primary portion of the web page. It's generally a reliable indication of the site's loading time.
  • . This score indicates how often the design of a site "shifts" or changes as it load. The more quickly a page is moved further, the less user experience. Zero is the best number you can try to achieve when faced with this issue.
  • Blocking duration total. With this metric it shows how long before the site is fully working. The website is rendered in a visual manner but the site could be loading scripts on the background which block users from accessing the site.

This section of the real-world use metrics section outlines the analysis of these metrics with respect to the latest outcomes of tests carried out by other users (if they exist). For a complete view of your site's performance it's recommended to compare these metrics against previous website performance indicators section.

The ideal outcome will be the same or even more effective:

Real-world usage metrics on WebPageTest
Real-world usage metrics that are useful

Additionally, it is recommended that you review the waterfall diagram that shows how the load process is performed on every section of the webpage. This could help you pinpoint those elements that could cause delays, or could be optimized in order to get better results.

Have you tried WebPageTest for testing your Business?

If you've got a website which you'd like to test It is recommended that you check it out on a regular basis for efficiency of your website to make sure that your website is user-friendly. You don't need to use your preferred software to check the efficiency. Let's look at a few of the reasons we would like to recommend WebPageTest.

To provide an outline of the process, we'll also talk about the advantages and disadvantages of these strategies.

Pros of WebPageTest

  • A comprehensive study. WebPageTest provides detailed details about the efficiency of the website, and helps determine areas in need of enhancement.
  • Tests that are flexible and allow you to change. The tool supports multiple web browsers on various sites, and also testing options that let users play with various tests. Test settings can be altered based on your preference, or you may use the default settings that this program provides if you want to know more about the test.
  • Free and open source. We're big fans of open-source software. It's an advantage to use WebPageTest at first. While the website does offer a higher-end tier of service, the free plans will suffice for the vast most sites.
  • Historical performance data. Utilizing WebPageTest it is possible to have access to up to of 13 months of test data for every website you employ the service to evaluate. It's plenty of information to track patterns in efficiency for the majority of sites.
  • Improved performance of recommendations. WebPageTest provides recommendations or "opportunities" to enhance the efficiency of your site depending on the issue it detects on your site. The report explains the motivation behind each modification.

WebPageTest Test Cons

  • It is essential to sign up for this service. Although WebPageTest offers a free trial, you have to be a member of the test program for the ability to avail the service. However, the service doesn't require any payment information during the process of registration.
  • A process for learning the curve. WebPageTest provides a variety of information useful which can be overwhelming to those who are new to optimizing website performance. In contrast other instruments similar to it the curve can be mastered to learn using WebPageTest.
  • controlled automatic. While it is possible to automatize WebPageTest using an API, it'll require more setup and knowledge of coding than other applications that have automatized functions.

WebPageTest Pricing

WebPageTest has Premium and Free plans. Free plans allow you to avail an extensive number of tests each month. In addition, the system stores the test information for 13 months for premium and free users.

WebPageTest Pricing
Pricing Model

In terms of benefits, customers of premium plans can benefit from the possibility to take more tests. In addition, they'll be given first priority for conducting tests when the service is fully loaded (which isn't often). Also, if like to get API acces to WebPageTest however you'll have to pay for an upgrade.

What is WebPageTest's performance in comparison to other Websites Speed Test Tools

The article will discuss how WebPageTest can be utilized to compare the two alternatives.

Google PageSpeed Information

The tool was developed by Google the tool offers an easy-to-read rating of performance as well as specific tips for optimizing. Test results are thorough when compared with WebPageTest.

Contrary to this, WebPageTest examines each page regularly during the course of each test. Additionally, it allows users to create tests that are designed and designed, a feature which PageSpeed Insights doesn't offer.

Pingdom Tools

Pingdom is an ideal tool for people who wish to run tests quickly using the right servers. Contrary to PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest, Pingdom isn't able to provide an exhaustive overview of the areas that need enhancement or are not functioning properly on your site. It rather provides an overall picture of your site's performance based on the information, which may be sufficient from time to the moment.

Based on our experience, we've learned that it's feasible to get top-quality results through frequent testing using different programs. If you're planning only use only one software, WebPageTest can deliver the best results when you compare it to other alternatives including PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Tools.


It is crucial to monitor the performance of your website in order to be sure your website is in good health. This involves conducting regular test of your site's speed and other activities that can will speed up the loading time.

There's an array of instruments which evaluate the efficiency of websites, however we recommend WebPageTest. It's free and provides precise results. In addition you can preserve the findings of your test up to 13 months. It gives you a comprehensive overview of your site's performance over the span of.

  • It's very easy to manage and set up My dashboard. My dashboard
  • Assistance is available at all times.
  • The most efficient Google Cloud Platform hardware and network powered by Kubernetes to ensure maximal capacity
  • Enterprise-grade Cloudflare integration which increases security and speeds
  • The global audience is accessible with the possibility of having the capacity to host 35 data centers well as 275 POPs across the globe

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