For analysing website performance, I always recommend two tools. The first one is PageSpeed Insights designed by Google developers. It is based on Lighthouse which is often used by other tools for measuring website quality. GTmetrix is another very popular tool also based on Lighthouse software. Although both tools use the same software, they differ significantly in website testing.
What is the difference between PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix?
The main differences that can be found in the tools mentioned are the hardware, the connection speed, the screen resolution and the testing methodology. All these factors influence the final result of the test.
- Loads the page using browser
- Default resolution (1366×768)
- Smooth connection (connection speed can be changed)
- Uses Lighthouse with custom audits
- Uses consistent hardware across all locations
- Has 22 locations to choose from
- Has the ability to change testing options
- Does not use Lantern (observed mode)
- Loading the page using emulated browsers
- Default resolution (Computer 1350×940, Smartphone 360×640)
- Limited connection (Smartphone 4G)
- Uses only Lighthouse
- Uses only 4 global locations
- Has no ability to change testing options
- Uses Lantern (simulation mode)
What is Lantern and how does it affect test results?
Lantern is an algorithm which simulates bandwidth limitations in order to simulate loading a page on an underperforming device or a device using an inferior network connection. Lantern analyses results with and without the simulated restrictions. The algorithm may not reflect actual results. Nevertheless, it significantly speeds up tests and you can usually get representative data with it.
Does loading speed affect a page's ranking in search results?
The answer is YES. It is one of the factors taken into account by Google's ranking algorithm. However, it is worth remembering that the main role in positioning will always be played by good quality content. It is good to find a golden solution between these two things.
It is worth knowing and using tools to check website performance. The ability to find problems on the website can lead to the improvement of the website's performance and therefore a better user experience. Users who are forced to wait longer than 3 seconds usually give up and leave the site. Users are much more likely to browse a site with a fast loading time, and an efficient site can achieve a higher ranking in search results.