Page Speed Tools Review: Comparing GTMetrix to The Google Page Speed Tool
When was the last time you speed tested your website? If you haven’t done it recently or ever, you’re leaving money on the table – and bringing your competitors an edge over you.
Because a slow website will kill your conversions, rankings, traffic and online reputation – everyone hates a slow website, and that includes your prospects and clients.
You definitively don’t want a slow website – and that’s why you should read our page speed tools review, where we will compare the two leading options in the market: GTMetrix and the Google Page Speed Tool.
To show you which one will help you to get a fast website that banks more conversions, better rankings, more traffic and takes your online reputation to the top. Let’s start!
The Top 8 Factors that Determine a Proper Page Speed Tool
We’ve picked the Google page speed tool – PageSpeed Insights – and GTMetrix because they’re among the most popular and they are free. And we’re going to focus on the key factors that will bring you a real measurement of the speed of your website – as well as indications on how to improve it.
The factors that we will review and compare are:
1. Server test locations: From which locations in the world can you test your website?
2. Waterfall analysis: A critical element to analyze the performance of your web design
3. Browser type options: Is it real or emulated? – It will affect the quality of your analysis
4. Test resolutions: To test the speed and performance of your site in different resolutions
5. Connection throttling: To test your website using different internet speeds
6. HTTP/2 support: A key element to boost your web speed
7. Hardware provision for tests: Is it consistent or not? It will affect the quality of your test
8. Customized tests: Is it possible to tailor your speed test to specific variables?
It can sound complex and technical – but you’ll find that we’ve explained everything in a straightforward manner. Let’s check our review.
The Page Speed Tools Review Battle: GTMetrix vs. Google Page Speed Tool
To bring you a better experience, we’re going to compare the performance of both page speed tools in each factor. We’re going to bring each option a score from 0 to 5 depending on their performance – let’s begin!
Server Test Locations
They are the parts of the world from which you can run your test – and it’s critical, because if you have a website selling in the UK, then you need to ensure that visitors from the UK are having a great experience on your website. And you can only know it if you test from a server in the UK.
GTMetrix has 38 servers shared amongst 7 different countries:
A wide myriad of options that makes it a solid option in the market. Only because some options have more coverage, we bring it a 4/5.
On the other hand, the Google page speed tool doesn’t bring you the option to select your test location. It’s said they determine it based on your IP – but they haven’t disclosed it.
Due to the lack of customization and secrecy, we give it a 1/5 – because it fails to deliver a key factor in page speed testing.
A waterfall will show you how long each element in your website takes to load – allowing you to identify key problems in your website structure and design. Scripts, images, stylesheets, metadata, etc.
GTMetrix brings you this future – allowing you to analyze deeply the performance of each element in your website. Because the reporting is clean, organized and with exclusive insights that allow you to identify bottlenecks easily – we bring it a 5/5. Amongst the best in the industry.
Unfortunately, the Google page speed tool doesn’t bring a waterfall analysis, which kills another critical factor in page speed analysis and optimization. Hence, we give it a 0/5.
Browser Type Options
Your target audience may be using a specific browser – and hence, you need to measure the performance and speed of your website when someone visits it using that specific browser. Mozilla, Chrome, Opera, Edge, Brave, etc.
Furthermore, page speed tools might use a real browser like you and everyone uses – or an emulated browser, which include choices like SlimerJS and PhantomJS.
The problem with emulated browsers is that they don’t connect with reality – because they don’t represent what a real visitor would see on your site. And this could bring a flawed analysis and report that won’t help you to optimize the UX of your site.
GTMetrix uses real browsers and you have a wide myriad of options ranging from Mozilla to Chrome Android. And because they use a fresh browser profile for each test, the results will be as accurate as they could get. Another solid 5/5 score here.
The Google page speed tool hasn’t disclosed what type of browser they use, but evidence suggests it might be an emulated version. Because of this lack of transparency, we bring it a 2/5.
Resolutions are the measurement of your screen – and once again, if you have a very specific type of visitor, it might be a using a specific resolution. Hence, the importance of speed testing different resolutions.
GTMetrix offers multiple desktop and mobile resolutions, bringing you a wide myriad of options for customization. It’s superior to other options in the market that solely limit to mobile and desktop, or to a standard resolution of 1024×878 or 1024×696.
Therefore, we bring it another solid 5/5.
The Google page speed tool allows you to choose between desktop and mobile – but they don’t let you know the exact resolutions, which will lower the precision of your analysis.
Even though, we score it a 3/5 – because at least they let you choose between mobile and desktop.
Connection throttling is the intentional act of lowering the internet speed – which is critical for customizing your speed tests. Maybe you’re targeting users who have low internet speeds, and therefore, you need to ensure that even then, your website is loading fast enough.
That’s the importance of connection throttling – as it will allow you to take the UX of your site to the next level.
GTMetrix allows you to easily customize the internet speed. You can test different connection types such as Wi-Fi, broadband fast/slow, 3G, 2G, and even dial up. And you can combine it with the device type – bringing you the resources needed to customize your tests.
Therefore, we bring GTMetrix a solid 5/5 because it covers all the variables of connection throttling.
On the other hand, the Google page speed tool doesn’t bring you the option for connection throttling, which once again, limits your from personalizing the tests.
Hence, we have no other option than bringing it a 0/5.
HTTP/2 is the improvement of the traditional HTTP/1.1 – which allows the browser to process multiple requests at the same time. Making the loading speed much faster. And therefore, it’s important to optimize your website for this new protocol.
GTMetrix enables the HTTP/2 protocol – making it possible to run tests on this specific factor. Therefore, we bring it a 5/5 – as it’s straight to the point and it’s one of the few options in the market that supports this protocol.
Plain and simple, the Google page speed tool doesn’t support HTTP/2. Once again, it diminishes the customization and precision of your tests. No other option than bringing it at a 0/5.
Hardware matters when speed testing – because if the provision is not consistent amongst all the servers, you’ll get different results that will reduce the precision of your tests. And this is business, not gambling.
Let’s check what GMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights bring to the table.
GTMetrix provides a reliable and consistent hardware provision for all of its servers around the world. However, we’d like more detail about their hardware. Therefore, we score it a 4/5.
On the other hand, Google PageSpeed Insights doesn’t disclose anything about their hardware provisioning – and that’s a flaw. Even though, because it’s a Google product and it might be using the same resources, we will score it a 3/5.
If you’ve read everything so far now, you must have seen that the winner is GTMetrix – because it allows you to customize resolutions, internet speed/connection, test locations, protocols, etc. Whereas Google PageSpeed Insights is severely limited.
Therefore, we bring GTMetrix a solid 5/5 because it covers all the variables necessary to customize your tests – and it’s actually very easy to do even if you aren’t technical at all.
On the other hand, Google PageSpeed Insights stays at a poor 2/5 – because its customization options are insufficient for accurate speed testing.
In conclusion, we recommend you to prefer GTMetrix over Google PageSpeed Insights – as it’s the winner from this page speed tools review because it scores highly in all the factors that matter.
We Can Help Increase Your Page Speeds!
We have a wealth of knowledge in page speed optimisation, and can greatly improve your website page speeds scores, for example, our client Perran Springs, who have a heavy image-based website originally had poor performance scores, we changed their servers, optimised code, and many other criteria in order to gain near-perfect scores without affecting the look or feel of the website:
We can do the same for your website, just contact us today!