Posts tagged "yslow"


How to time the speed of your website

by Josh Fraser on February 3, 2011

The first step of web performance optimization is being able to measure your results. A lot of tools out there only measure the time it takes your server to respond. These tools often give an inaccurate picture of your performance. You might have blazing fast servers that can return the HTML in a fraction of a second, but your visitors might still be waiting for frontend components like images to download or javascript to be executed. This is why it is important to use tools that measure your complete load time.

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
  • It’s open-source!

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.