We’ve written before about how much we love WebPageTest. Patrick Meenan has been at it again with another great update to the service. WebPageTest now has support for Google Chrome. For now, it’s limited to version 10 of the browser and is only available from the Dulles location. It sounds like it’s still a work in progress, but we’re excited to be able to do speed tests in one of our favorite browsers. It also sounds like support for additional browsers is coming soon. Patrick posted the following list of what’s available today and warned that he expects demand to be high over the first few days.
- Testing URLs (no scripts)
- Dynamic bandwidth/dummynet
- First/Repeat view (entire profile is cleared out between runs)
- Optionally ending tests at document complete
- Packet Captures
- Screen captures
- Start render detection
- Video capture
- Optimization checks
- Custom end conditions (DOM elements, etc)
- Content blocking
- HTTP Basic auth tests
- DNS or Socket connect errors will not show up in the waterfall
We’re looking forward to checking out the new functionality. It will be particularly interesting to compare the results with the recently launched IE 9 from Microsoft.
Yesterday I wrote about some of the tools available for timing the performance of your website. One of our favorite tools I mentioned was WebPageTest. Today I stumbled across a great webcast from O’Reilly where Patrick Meenan goes into more detail about how the service works as well as some of the new features he is working on now that he’s at Google and can focus 100% of his time on it. Check it out.
Thankfully there are several great tools that are available for free.
PageSpeed from Google and YSlow from Yahoo are two incredibly useful browser addons that make it easy to see where the performance issues are with your site. I use both plugins on a daily basis. Steve Souders is an industry leader in the WPO space and the creater of both tools. Steve’s blog is also a must-read for anyone interested in web performance.
Two other web-based tools for measuring the speed of your site are GTMetrix and WebPageTest. WebPageTest is the tool we use internally at Torbit. Here are a few of the reasons we love WebPageTest:
17 different locations around the world (more are being added all the time)
Multiple browsers from IE 6 to IE9
Various simulated connection speeds
Comparison videos to watch your before/after performance from an actual browser
Easy to read waterfall graphs that let you see at a glance what’s going on
In fact, we’re such big fans of WebPageTest that we sponsor their server instance in Dublin. We’re incredibly grateful for the work that Steve Souders and Patrick Meenan (the creator of WebPageTest) have done in creating such useful tools for the rest of us. Their selfless work has given us the ability to go straight to the more interesting problem of making websites faster. If you’re site isn’t loading as fast as you would like, be sure to check out these tools and let us know if we can help provide an automated solution for you instead.