GTmetrix: How to Analyze Your Website’s PageSpeed Performance and Interpret the GTmetrix Report

GTmetrix is a popular tool for analyzing your website’s pagespeed performance. Google considers pagespeed as an important ranking factor in its algorithm. Thus, every website owner should measure and improve pagespeed of their website.

Gtmetrix

Here GTmetrix comes into play to analyze your website’s pagespeed score and improve on the current performance. 

What is GTmetrix?

GTmetrix is an independent performance testing & monitoring tool that analyzes your website’s pagespeed performance and scores on a scale of 0 to 100 as a percentage and also grades them from A to F based on the performance score and structure score. You also explore the web vitals performance of your website in GTmetrix

Let’s see the weightage of the performance score and structure score in the GTmetrix grade.

  • Performance score: 60%
  • Structure score: 40%

You can customize the GTmetrix testing based on test location, browser, network connection, and others.

GTmetrix dashboard

How do you measure your website pagespeed performance in GTmetrix?

To analyze the performance of your website in GTmetrix, you need to go through the following steps.

Step 1: After opening GTmetrix in your browser, enter your website’s URL and click on Analyze for your website speed test.

GTmetrix analysis dashboard

Step 2: After waiting for some time, you can see your website’s and Web Vital’s performance scores.

RL Performance Check, gtmetrix

Below we will interpret the result in detail.

What is a Good PageSpeed Score in GTmetrix?

Gtmetrix score is based on the site speed performance:

  • Web page Load time
  • Visual stability
  • Interactivity.

Let’s see the general guide for the GTmetrix grade based on the performance score.

Score in percentageGradeColor
90-100AGreen
80-89BLight Green
70-79CYellow
60-69DOrange
50-59EDark Orange
0-49FRed

Difference Between GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights

GTmetrix is the best alternative to Google Pagespeed Insights. While both tools analyze your website’s page load speed, they have some key differences.

Google Pagespeed InsightsGTmetrix
StabilityEvery time you check the pagespeed score in Google PSI, it would be slightly different.GTmetrix’s score is more stable than Google Pagespeed Insights.
Test Location selectionIn Google Pagespeed Insights you can’t select any test location.In Gtmetrix you can customize the testing by specifying the test location.
Waterfall analysisThere is no waterfall chart you can see in Google PSI.GTmetrix shows you a waterfall chart. Help you understand which content was loaded in which order.
Network Connection Google PSI works on simulated throttling.
Here, desktop and mobile tests are done separately at different network speeds.
An unthrottled connection is used in GTmetrix by default. 
But based on your demands, you can switch the network connection.
Test with different BrowserIn the case of Google PageSpeed Insights, headless/ emulated browsers (browsers without user interface) are used.GTmetric uses a real browser (Google Chrome) to load your webpage.

How to Interpret GTmetrix Results?

You can see a lot of things that could be overwhelming, this guide would make it easier for you to understand different parts.

Understanding the Summary

The summary tab provides a complete snapshot of your web page’s performance and structure.  

RL Test reports, gtmetrix

At the top of this summary tab, you can see speed visualization. Here, you can analyze when certain performance metrics such as First Contentful Paint (FCP), Time to First Byte(TTFB), Time to Interact (TTI), Onload Time, and Fully Loaded Time come into play & their time stamps. Hence you can very easily figure out the issues.

RabbitLoader perfiormance check

Below the visualization section, you will see the Top Issues that actually tell you what you should do to improve your website’s performance. These issues impact your website performance, such as Reducing initial server response time, Avoiding an excessive DOM size, and many more. 

gtmetrix

How will RabbitLoader help you in Implementing these Suggestions?

Using RabbitLoader, you can solve these issues without installing any further optimization tools. RabbitLoader has inbuilt strategies to mitigate each suggestion that you can see in GTmetrix. Let’s understand with an example.

As you can see in the above images, the first suggestion is to Reduce the initial server response time. This can be mitigated by implementing a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which is available on RabbitLoader. Also, by compressing HTML files, RabbitLoader can Avoid Excessive DOM Size.

You can also use RabbitLoader on your WordPress site, Shopify, PHP, or, Laravel website.

Understanding the Performance

In the performance tab, you can see the two sections:

  • Performance Metrics
  • Browser Timings

What are the Performance Metrics?

Performance metrics are used to analyze your website’s performance such as loading speed, functionality, and user experience (UX). These performance metrics include:

  • Time to Interactive (TTI): This performance metric measures the time to become your webpage fully interactive
  • Speed Index (SI): indicating how quickly the content of your web page is rendered.
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT): This core web vital metric measures the blocking time span for your webpage from responding to user input.
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) allows you to calculate the web page loading time for the largest content of your website.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): this performance metric measures the shifting of the content while the page is loaded and rendered.
Core web vitals matrix

Depending on the performance you can see different colors and statuses.

Colorstatuses
GreenGood – Nothing to do here
Light greenOk, but consider the improvement
OrangeLonger than recommended
RedMuch longer than recommended

What are Browser Timings?

Browser timings represent the different milestones that are reported by the browser. Previously these timings were present in the Timings Tab in GTmetrix with Pagespeed/ YSlow score. These browser timings involve:

  • Redirect Duration represents the time to redirect the URLs before your HTML page is fully loaded.
  • Connection Duration represents the server connection time to make a request to your web page.
  • Backend Duration refers to the time span to generate the server response.
  • Time to First Byte (TTFB) is a performance metric that refers to the summation of the above three timings: “Redirect Duration,”” Connection duration,” and “backend duration.”
  • DOM Interactive Time indicates that the user browser has completed HTML loading and parsing and has built the Document Object Model (DOM) tree.
  • DOM Content Loaded Time denotes the DOM is ready.
  • First Paint is the time at which the browser renders your webpage, such as displaying the background color.
  • Onload Time indicates that all the resources of your web page, like images and stylesheets, have been downloaded.
  • Fully Loaded Time refers to the time between the completion of your web page’s processing and the absence of network activity for 2 seconds.

Check Also: PageSpeed Optimization Services

browser timing, gtmetrix

Understanding Structure

In the structure section, you can see how much a particular audit affects your pagespeed performance score. Based on the priority, GTmetrix will show you the color code and impact.  

ColorRemarksGTmetrix pro tips
RedHighImproving this audit can substantially increase your website performance.
OrangeMediumImproving this audit can moderately increase your website performance.
GreenLowNo improvement is necessary.
gtmetrix structure

Analyzing Waterfall Chart

In the waterfall chart, you can see the loading of the elements in their loading order, along with the duration and execution time of requests.  There are 5 columns present in this chart: 

  • URL: The URL of each requested element like image, scripts, etc.  
  • Status: The HTTP response status is returned from the server.  Usually status is 200, indicating okay. Also, you might see the 301 status, indicating a permanent redirect. 
  • Domain: This is where the content is coming from. Unless the script or images are loading from another website, you should see your own domain here.
  • Size: The file size of each requested content,
  • Timeline: Time the browser takes to download/ render the content.
Gtmetrix waterfall

Hovering on the Timeline for each content will open a new pop-up where you can see the different phases of the content’s loading process.

GTmetrix event timing

Understanding Video Tab

By clicking on Enable Video and Re-test, you can record the video of your web page loading in other browsers and analyze and detect any visual issues like flickering.

Gtmetrix video

Understanding History

Once you retest your webpage, you can view GTmetrix report data with different graphs to monitor its page speed performance.  

Gtmetrix performance history

For a better understanding of the History, you need to analyze your website before using RabbitLoader. After implementing the GTmetrix suggestion by using RabbitLoader, you need to retest your website. Then, you can see the improvement of your website. 

Simple Ways to Reduce Your Total Page File Size and Improve Website Performance

In today’s digital age, page size is a critical factor in website performance. Users expect websites to load quickly, and reduce your total page file size can significantly slow download times. This can result in a poor user experience, higher bounce rates, and lower search engine rankings. Therefore, it is essential to reduce your total page file size to optimize website performance. Here are some tips to help you do so.

Why reduce your total page file size?

Reduce your total page file size of your website is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it can significantly improve the loading speed of your website, which is essential for providing a good user experience. A fast-loading website can keep your visitors engaged and prevent them from bouncing off to another website. In contrast, a slow-loading website can lead to frustration and a negative user experience, causing visitors to leave your website and never return.

Secondly, Reduce your total page file size can also lead to increased data usage, which can be a significant problem for users with limited data plans. With the increasing use of mobile devices to browse the web, Reduce your total page file size of your website can help you cater to users who may have limited data usage.

Finally, reduce your total page file size of your website can also have a positive impact on your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance. Search engines like Google take into account the loading speed of your website when ranking it in search results. Therefore, optimizing your website’s page size can help improve your website’s SEO performance and attract more organic traffic.

reduce your total page file size

Best Practices Reduce Your Total Page File Size:

1. Minimize HTTP Requests:

Reduce your total page file size and the number of HTTP requests is one of the most effective ways to reduce the total page size of your website. You can achieve this by minimizing the number of images, scripts, and stylesheets that your web page requires. Combine multiple CSS and JavaScript files into a single file to reduce HTTP requests.

Every time a user visits your website, their browser sends HTTP requests to your server to retrieve the website files. The more files your website has, the more HTTP requests it needs to make, which can slow down your website’s loading times.

To minimize HTTP requests, you should Reduce your total page file size, images, scripts, and stylesheets on your webpage. One way to achieve this is by combining multiple CSS and JavaScript files into a single file to reduce HTTP requests. You can also use inline CSS and JavaScript instead of separate files.

2. Minimize HTTP Requests:

As mentioned earlier, images are usually the biggest contributors to page size. One of the ways to optimize images is by using image compression tools or services like TinyPNG or JPEGmini. These tools compress images without compromising their quality, reducing the file size and improving the loading times.

Another way to optimize images is by using next-generation image formats like WebP or AVIF. These formats offer better compression and smaller file sizes than older formats like PNG or JPEG.

3. Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs):

A CDN is a network of servers distributed globally that cache your website’s static content and deliver it to visitors from the closest server. By using a CDN, you can reduce the load on your web server and improve your website’s performance.

4.Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Minification is the process of removing unnecessary characters like whitespace, comments, and formatting from CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files. Minification reduces the size of these files, which results in a smaller page size and faster load times.

There are several tools available that can help you minify your code, such as YUI Compressor, UglifyJS, and HTMLMinifier. These tools will remove all unnecessary characters from your code, leaving only the essential code required to display your website. 

5. Use Gzip Compression:

Gzip is a compression algorithm that compresses files before they are sent to the browser. Gzip compression can reduce the size of your website’s files by up to 70%, which can significantly improve your website’s performance.

Most web servers support Gzip compression, and you can enable it by adding a few lines of code to your server’s configuration file. Once enabled, the web server compresses files before sending them to the browser, which reduces the file size and improves the loading times.

6. Reduce the Number of Plugins

Plugins can add useful functionality to your website, but they can also slow it down. Every plugin you add to your website can increase the page size, which can negatively impact your website’s performance.

Use only the essential plugins and remove any unnecessary ones. Regularly audit your plugins and remove any that you no longer use or that are outdated. Also, be cautious when adding new plugins and ensure that they are necessary for your website’s functionality.

In summary, reducing the total page size of your website is essential for providing a good user experience, improving your website’s SEO performance, and catering to users with limited data usage. By following the best practices mentioned above, you can significantly reduce your website’s page size and improve its performance.

FAQs:

How does reduce your total page file size cater to users with limited data usage?

reduce your total page file size can cater to users with limited data usage by decreasing the amount of data that needs to be transferred between the server and the user’s device. This can result in faster load times and lower data usage for the user, which can be particularly beneficial for those with limited data plans or slow internet connections. By minimizing the amount of data that needs to be loaded, pages can also be optimized for viewing on mobile devices, which may have smaller screens and less powerful hardware. Additionally, reduce your total page file size can also help to optimize page speed, which can improve the user experience and increase engagement.

What are some other factors that can impact website performance besides page size?

Other factors that can impact website performance include server response time, caching, code optimization, and network latency.

How to reduce your total page file size?

1. Optimize Images:

Images can have a significant impact on the file size of your website. Large image files can slow down the loading speed of your website and result in a poor user experience. To optimize your images, you can use image compression software or an online image compressor to reduce the file size while maintaining the image quality. 

It’s also important to use the correct file format for each image. For example, JPEGs are best for photographs, while PNGs are ideal for graphics with fewer colours.

      2. Minify CSS and JavaScript:

Minifying CSS and JavaScript files can help reduce the overall size of your website. Minification removes unnecessary characters like white spaces, comments, and line breaks. This can significantly reduce file size without affecting the functionality of your website. You can use online tools or software to minify your CSS and JavaScript files.

     3. Remove unnecessary plugins and scripts:

Plugins and scripts can significantly increase your page file size. It’s important to review your website regularly and remove any plugins or scripts that are not essential. This can also improve website security and reduce the risk of vulnerabilities.

      4. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

A CDN can help reduce the load on your web server by distributing content across multiple servers. This can significantly improve website performance and reduce the page file size. Additionally, a CDN can help mitigate the impact of high traffic volumes on your website.

       5. Compress your files:

File compression can significantly reduce file size without affecting the quality of the content. You can use a tool like Gzip to compress your files, which can reduce the page file size by up to 70%. This can significantly improve website performance, especially on mobile devices.

      6. Reduce the number of HTTP requests:

Each HTTP request made to the server can significantly increase page load times. Therefore, it’s essential to reduce the number of HTTP requests as much as possible. Combine CSS and JavaScript files, use sprites instead of individual images, and reduce the number of redirects on your website.

       7. Use Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a technique that involves loading only the images and videos that are visible in the user’s viewport. This means that if the user scrolls down the page, the images and videos further down the page will only load as they come into view. This can greatly reduce your page size and improve your page loading times.

To implement lazy loading, you can use various plugins and libraries like jQuery Lazy, LazyLoad, or Intersection Observer API. These tools can help you implement lazy loading for images and videos on your website.

It’s important to note that not all browsers support lazy loading, so you should also implement a fallback for browsers that don’t support it.

        8. Optimize Fonts:

Fonts can also contribute to Reduce Your Total Page File Size. If you’re using custom fonts on your website, they can take up a lot of space and slow down your page loading times. To optimize your font files, you can subset your fonts, compress your font files, and choose the best font format.

Subsetting your fonts involves removing any characters that are not used on your website. This can greatly Reduce Your Total Page File Size of your font files. You can also compress your font files using tools like WOFF2 Compressor or TTF Compressor. This will reduce the file size even further without compromising the font quality.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, reduce your total page file size of your website is crucial for providing a positive user experience, improving SEO performance, and catering to users with limited data usage. By minimizing HTTP requests, optimizing images, using content delivery networks, minifying CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, using Gzip compression, and reducing the number of plugins, you can significantly reduce Your Total Page File size and improve its performance. 

It’s essential to keep in mind that a fast-loading website can keep visitors engaged and prevent them from bouncing off to another website, while a slow-loading website can lead to frustration and a negative user experience, causing visitors to leave your website and never return. 

Therefore, optimizing your website’s page size should be a top priority for website owners and developers.