What tool do you use to test the speed of your website? GTmetrix or Pingdom? Or maybe another one?
In this article, I would like to analyze the differences between the two most popular tools to evaluate a website’s performance, also suggesting which of the two, in my opinion, is the most reliable.
GTmetrix And Pingdom: Why Are The Results Different?
Do not you believe it? Here is the proof. Here are the screenshots of the results I got with the two tools.
Testing the Google site, the differences, although present, are not particularly significant, for some websites I happened to get very different results.
Let’s see what this discrepancy depends on.
First, pay attention to the region you are testing from. If you decide to compare the results of GTmetrix and Pingdom, you need to make sure that the location from which the test is performed is the same.
With Pingdom, you can select it from the drop-down menu next to the URL, while on GTmetrix, you will need to have a free account. Otherwise, the test will be performed by default from Canada.
Recommendations And Suggestions
There is no doubt that GTmetrix is the complete tool regarding details on what affects your website’s speed.
Based on two reports, namely PageSpeed and YSlow, it can analyze 45 different characteristics of a site, show a score for each of them, and inform you how much each one is relevant in contributing to the loading speed.
The indications provided by Pingdom are much less numerous (just 11), but this indeed entails greater ease of use by those who are not very experienced in the sector.
Although both tools rely on the PageSpeed Insights libraries, both GTmetrix and Pingdom have introduced some rules of their own, causing a discrepancy in the results to be created when the same website is tested.
Reading this far, you may have already guessed that my favorite tool is GTmetrix, but perhaps, by trying them both, you noticed that the Pingdom tool shows shorter loading times most of the time. We also see it in the image above that shows my test: the speed detected by Pingdom is about half that of GTmetrix.
Only this feature could make you decide always to use Pingdom, but don’t let yourself be tempted! In reality, the most accurate data is that of GTmetrix.
By default, the latter adds to the measurement of the complete page load also a specific period in which there is total inactivity.
This means that all the time it takes for the page to load its resources (such as images and CSS) is calculated, but it also includes loading other elements, such as ads.
This result is much more realistic than Pingdom, which uses only the page load time and its primary resources.
As a result, your page may seem fast with Pingdom, but it hasn’t been 100% loaded in reality.
Is Pingdom or GTmetrix Better?
So, in light of these differences, I believe that GTmetrix is primarily a more reliable and more complete tool.
The reports are extremely detailed, and each item contains a link to an in-depth article that will explain precisely how you will need to take action to improve that particular aspect of your site.
Also, it contains a real automatic image optimization tool. If you open the Optimize images item, you will see the list of all the images that can be compressed to save kilobytes, and for each, you will find the link to the optimized image.
Just click on See optimized version to open the image in the browser and, with a simple Save As, you can use it instead of the heaviest one on your site.
Finally, I would like to add that GTmetrix allows you to set advanced options, such as:
- The choice of the browser from which to perform the test;
- Blocking ad loading;
- Creating a slow-motion video that shows precisely the critical moments during the upload;
- The ability to enter user and password to analyze protected pages.
On the other hand, Pingdom does not have any particular settings that you can customize, except the one relating to the test location.
It’s up to you to decide which tool to test the speed that best suits your needs. If you are looking for a quick and straightforward system that highlights only the main aspects for better performance, then I suggest Pingdom.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to work in more detail and obtain ever faster loading times, and if you also have the skills to interpret more in-depth reports, then go for sure with GTmetrix.