Run and interpret GTmetrix on your website

GTmetrix is a web dev tool that analyzes the loading speed of your website and provides suggestions for improving speed.

GTmetrix provides metrics such as Total Page Size, Page Load Time, and the number of requests, on its analysis of your website.

You can start off by running the GTmetrix tool on your website.

1. Go to GTmetrix
2. Enter your website URL in the provided field
3. Click the Test your site button to start the evaluation process

4. Wait for the tool to run and pull up results

Now you can start interpreting your results, however here is some context to keep in mind:

Despite its popularity, GTmetrix can sometimes give results that may be confusing or misleading. The reason lies in the way GTmetrix operates and the factors it considers while evaluating your website.

GTmetrix uses predefined rules and benchmarks to analyze your website. These standards might not always align with the specific characteristics of your website, including the coding practices used, the site architecture, and the functionalities your website provides.

Therefore, implementing every single recommendation provided by GTmetrix without a thorough understanding might not be beneficial and may even disrupt your website from operating normally.

Testing conditions can significantly affect your GTmetrix results as well. Factors such as the GTmetrix test server location and time of testing can cause variations in results. This means running the same test at different times or from different locations might yield different results.

This means scores can be misleading if not interpreted correctly, here are some misconceptions about your GTmetrix results:

1. GTmetrix grade isn’t just about speed: The GTmetrix grade is a weighted combination of Performance (60%) and Structure (40%) scores. It reflects both how fast a page performs (loading, interactivity, visual stability) and how well it’s built for performance, offering a comprehensive picture of overall web experience

2. Performance score differences: GTmetrix’s Performance Score is based on Lighthouse but also includes unique considerations like specific browser and hardware specifications used during tests, differing from Google’s tools which use their own methods. Therefore, scores may vary due to factors such as geographical test location, hardware configurations, and network conditions on GTmetrix’s network.

3. Structure score specifics: GTmetrix’s structure score is based on proprietary assessments of how well a page is built, which includes custom audits like enabling Keep-Alive, using CSS sprites, and utilizing CDNs, tailored to reflect the GTmetrix perspective on web performance. These audit may be incompatible or simply not correlate with how your website was built and functions.

In reality, the best speed test for your website can be the real-world eye test. As in, load it up on your browser and allow it to load. Does it load fast? Then, that means it has a fast load!

However, you can always employ strategies and tools to enhance your website speed, review the fix a slow website guide for further information.