GTMetrix is a popular speed testing tool that helps measure and report on many aspects of website performance. Developed by GT.net, based in Canada, GTMetrix is used in conjunction with Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights. This software is considered one of the most important tools in this field, effectively helping SEO efforts to improve the website, increase site speed and therefore site traffic.
Table of Contents
GTMetrix is also defined as a Webmaster tool that detects badly coded plugins, large image files and other reasons that reduce site speed. While performance results from other speed test tools mainly enable front-end development, GTMetrix provides detailed information for back-end development.
GTMetrix, which helps to analyze websites and perform optimizations in accordance with SEO studies, offers some basic features to its users free of charge. However, there are also paid packages rated for users who prefer services such as hourly URL tracking, fast analysis, additional API access, and white-label PDF reports.
How to Use GTMetrix?
Using GTMetrix, you can view a summary of site performance on an individual page basis and identify pages that need to be optimized. It is also possible to access charts and graphs that provide information for the size of the pages, load time, number of user requests and performance comparison, as well as analysis of the images on the pages. GTMetrix is extremely simple and easy to use. It can also be used on WordPress websites. To use GTMetrix, simply follow the instructions below.
To start a free scan on the GTMetrix website, enter the full URL of the website in the search bar and click the “Test your site” button on the side of the search bar. This will start the scanning process.
A new screen opens with the start of the crawling process. Browser and server information are displayed on the loading screen.
After the scanning process is completed in a short time, the report page is published. On this page published by the GTMetrix website, the reload score, overall speed score, total page size, the time it takes to fully load and the total number of queries for the queried site are reported.
GTMetrix, which puts websites through a rigorous test in terms of performance, reports the analysis as PRIORITY and TYPE. TYPE indicates what the performance values are related to, while PRIORITY indicates the importance scale. Even in its free version, this speed measurement tool offers a detailed report and can be used by anyone.
GTMetrix also makes it extremely easy for WordPress website users. WordPress users can download a full-fledged plugin for content management that is simple to install. The API key and account email address are enough for this. Before any changes, GTMetrix recommends a baseline test or tests to ensure site speed. After collecting the necessary data, it is recommended to install the W3 Total Cache plugin if it is not already installed. This is because W3 Total Cache caches the website and focuses on WordPress optimization. After this plugin, it is recommended to install the GTMetrix WP Smush plugin. GTMetrix WP Smush is an image optimization plugin. Although it is not a widely used plugin like W3 Total Cache, it is useful to install it. Because this plugin offers the ability to compress PNG, JPEG and GIF images without any loss in order to process new images uploaded to the WordPress installation. This plugin compresses even large images to 1 MB or less. After installing and configuring these two plugins, GTMetrix requests another speed test. The test results are surprisingly good.
What are the Advantages of GTMetrix?
The advantages of using the GTMetrix speed test tool can be briefly listed as follows:
- Lists analysis factors.
- It offers the opportunity to test websites from different locations.
- Reports slow loading pages on the site, as well as the reasons for slow loading and how to fix them.
- Allows in-site edits.
- Thanks to the graphic it presents in green, yellow and red colors, it clearly indicates the areas of the site that have high performance, need to be developed and need to be edited.
- It scores the content in every area of the website in terms of quality, visual size and originality.
Site speed significantly affects user experience and ranking in search engine results lists. Sites that open slowly are both quickly abandoned by users and not visited again. It also ranks lower in the result lists of search engines. These two situations negatively affect site traffic. It is important to test with GTMetrix how useful SEO efforts to increase the speed and traffic of websites are or which efforts need to be improved. Because optimizations can be done in the most ideal way thanks to these tests.
How to Improve Website Performance with GTMetrix?
In order to increase the GTMetrix score and improve site performance, it is recommended to make arrangements according to some of the points mentioned below.
High resolution images consume a lot of bandwidth, slowing down the site and increasing loading time. GTMetrix makes it easy to identify which images need to be optimized.
CCS File Optimization
By shrinking the CCS file, unnecessary duplicates, spaces and characters can be eliminated. This file size reduction helps improve site performance.
Monitoring Web Performance
Monitoring website performance is important to identify which areas need improvement. For this reason, GTMetrix and other tools should be used to monitor site performance on a regular basis.