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GTMetrix helps you figure out exactly how to make your site load faster

GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a good tool for figuring out why your website is slow. It uses Yahoo's YSlow performance evaluation tool, but it also adds some intelligence of its own.

Using it is quite simple. Feed it a domain name and GTMetrix loads the page in the background while you wait, and then routes you to a report page.

The report is manager-friendly: It starts out with a summary in huge letters, grading your site like a school paper (A to F). You also get a percentage score. That means your boss doesn't really have to understand anything technical to use this tool -- he just has to run the test and keep pestering you to improve the site until you get an A on both scores (YSlow Grade and Page Speed Grade).

The rest of the report is aimed at the people doing the actual work; sysadmins and webmasters. It contains some very technical recommendations (like "Add Expires headers"), sorted by order of impact upon score. You can click each recommendation to see a complete report showing you exactly what you should change, on a file-by-file basis. It's incredibly detailed.

There are four tabs in this section. The first two correspond with the two test scores, while the third one is a page load timeline (similar to what you get with Chrome), and the fourth is a history. History is only enabled when you're logged on, but if you're serious about using this tool it's a real boon. It lets you see how your site score changes over time (for the better, hopefully).

Bottom line: This is a serious tool for people who care about how fast their site is, and because it's web-based it can be easily used by a team (everyone sees the same thing).


Tags: AJAX, speed, webdesign, WebDevelopment, Yahoo, ysl

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