Get to know GTmetrix and learn how to analyze your website using this tool – WAU
GTmetrix is a tool that performs very detailed website analysis, which allows you to understand in detail the loading of your blog. Knowing the download time of each element, it is possible to make optimizations, in order to increase the page opening speed.
Those who have a website or blog should follow some metrics on a regular basis, which includes knowing exactly how many visits occur daily or each month, which posts are most popular and what is the click-through rate on links, buttons and ads.
There is also a metric known as a bounce rate. You certainly want to keep this index as low as possible, don’t you? In this sense, there is a factor that has a great influence on the behavior of the visitor, causing him to remain on your site or leave it: loading speed.
After all, internet users don’t usually have a lot of patience to wait for a long time to load a page. So, when they feel that the site’s content is taking too long to appear, they leave.
This leads us to an important question: how do you find out the cause of the delay in loading your blog? Using a fantastic tool called GTmetrix. In this content you will find the following topics:
What is GTmetrix and what is it for?
GTmetrix is a tool that allows you to know in detail the loading of your website or blog. It indicates the download time of each element, which makes it possible to make optimizations, so that the user has the best possible experience with regard to speed.
The tool is free, which is impressive, taking into account the quantity and quality of the features offered. You can do analysis without registering, although it is more advantageous to create an account.
It turns out that when you log in, the tool allows you to change parameters of the evaluation, in addition to offering the possibility to save your analyzes and even export them to PDF. It is also possible to analyze two sites at the same time, which allows for a comparison of performances.
The purpose of all this is to make your website load faster. You might think, “But what difference does it make in about 5 seconds? This is so little! ” It seems little, but for an internet user, a few seconds is almost an eternity.
Google did research that showed the importance of developing websites mobile-friendly, which has to do with them being able to be viewed with quality on mobile devices. The study indicated that for almost half of respondents, what causes the most frustration is the slow loading of a page.
Another study showed that two seconds of loading delay can increase the bounce rate by up to 103%. In addition, 100 milliseconds – the same as a tenth of a second – can reduce the conversion rate by about 7%.
As if user behavior was not enough, Google itself analyzes loading time when it comes to ranking, which makes this factor something to be taken into account in an SEO strategy.
Thus, if you are investing in Content Marketing, it is essential to take care of the loading speed of your website, and GTmetrix can help a lot in this.
What are the main features of GTmetrix?
GTmetrix offers many features, but we have separated the main ones, which you can check below.
GTmetrix displays a website’s speed score based on Google PageSpeed and Yahoo YSlow, two tools that calculate load times.
The result is displayed in percentage, making it possible to make a comparison with the general average of the websites analyzed in GTmetrix in the last 30 days. To do this, simply position the cursor on the icon to the right of the score.
The amount of detail presented in the report is incredible. The tool analyzes all the elements of your website and presents a graphic in timeline format that even indicates when each item is loaded.
A portion of the report includes recommendations for what you can do to optimize your site. They are organized into categories and, depending on the level of your technical knowledge, it is possible to make several adjustments to optimize the loading time.
PDF report generation
The report can be exported to PDF, which is very interesting when you want to share the information with a partner or a customer. The option is on a red button on the right side of the screen:
Test from multiple locations
To do the loading test, it is possible to perform the simulation from several locations. In the free plan, there are seven countries: the United States, Canada, China, the United Kingdom, London, Australia and India.
This functionality is quite interesting. It generates a video of your website loading and adds a caption in the corner, indicating the main events, as you can see in this image:
What are the limitations of the free plan?
In the free plan, you can make a maximum of 3 consultations per day, which is great if your intention is to evaluate the performance of your blog alone. On the other hand, for those who have an agency and need to analyze several sites, one of the paid plans will be a good deal, not to be limited to that small amount.
In the free plan there are also a limitation of 20 URLs that can be stored on your dashboard. In addition, paid plans offer permanent monitoring of your website, which cannot be done with basic subscription.
Another feature that is only available on paid plans is the Developer Toolkit, a set of tools for developers. This allows, for example, to simulate the loading of websites on countless mobile devices, choose the resolution of the device and save presets for analysis.
How to test your site with GTmetrix?
Now that you have an overview of GTmetrix, it’s time to learn how to use it. Check out a step by step.
1. Create an account
It is true that you can use the tool without registering, but it is worth doing so to have access to more features. So, as soon as you access the GTmetrix page, if you decide to create an account, click on “SignUp”, at the top right corner.
On the screen that will open, fill in your data and click on “Create an Account”.
2. Make your appointment
After logging in, you will be directed to your dashboard, which will have a text box where the address of the website to be analyzed will be typed. Here in the example, we are using the GTmetrix website itself. After entering this information, click on “Analysis Options” to change some query settings.
When you do this, some useful options will be displayed, as you can see in this image:
If your target audience is made up of people who live here in the country, change the location in the first checkbox, titled “Test URL in”. Select the option “São Paulo, London”. In the next box, you can define Chrome or Firefox as the browser to be used in the simulation.
It is also possible enable the “Create Video” option, which generates a video of your site loading. It allows viewing the opening of the page and even offers a caption that indicates the moment of the main events.
Enabling the “Adblock Plus” option is also very interesting. If you set the option to “On”, the analysis will disregard third party ads that are on your site. So you can compare the loading time with and without ads to see how much they are impacting the opening of the page.
After making these settings, click on “Analyze” to put the tool to work.
3. Analyze the results
A summary of the analysis appears at the top of the page, as you can see in this image:
On this screen you can see which criteria were used in the query, such as location, browser and video generation.
According to Google PageSpeed, the speed score is 99%. From Yahoo YSlow’s point of view, it is 89%. The time to complete loading the site is 2.1 seconds, and the total download size is 679KB.
Scrolling the page, you can see the details of the research, which is organized in several tabs:
Note that the first tab details the analysis made by Google PageSpeed, and the second shows particularities pointed out by Yahoo YSlow.
The next tab, “Waterfall”, offers an incredible graphic that shows the moment when each element of the website is loaded:
Note that it is possible to refine the graph display, displaying information only for HTML, CSS, images, and so on. When placing the cursor or clicking on these items, extra information is displayed, which further enriches the analysis.
The “Timing” tab gives several details about each step of loading the site:
By placing the cursor over each rectangle in the timeline, the information related to the event is shown below.
As shown in the functionalities topic, the “Video” tab generates a video of the site loading. Lastly, the “History” tab shows the performance history, taking into account analyzes that you did previously.
On my side there is the option “Compare”. When you click on it, a screen with a text box appears that allows you to enter the address of another website to make a performance comparison. As with the initial survey, here you can also change details of the analysis:
The following screen places the performance of the two sites side by side, which makes comparison much easier:
Loading speed is a very important aspect of a website. After all, if users leave very quickly, their entire marketing strategy ends up being harmed, since it depends on them staying and taking actions in order to become leads and customers.
In this sense, GTmetrix is a great ally, since it manages to make a very detailed analysis of your website or blog, allowing you to make the necessary optimizations. As a result, the user experience will be much better.
Of course, you’re not just going to analyze your site, since you need to make adjustments later. So, check out the article “11 main steps to improve the loading speed of your pages”.