Four useful free web tools to measure the quality of a Website

José Obregón · Tech Lead 2021-08-29 · 5 min read

The quality of a software product is defined by the quality of the development process.

Why quality is important in a website?

Paying attention to the quality of our website will help us get new visitors, retain the current ones and improve user experience.

Caring about the quality of our website gives us the next benefits:

  • More speed (performance)
  • Better SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • More portability and compatibility
  • Easy to test, debug and maintain
  • Easy to change and scale
  • Better reliability and better resilience
  • More security
  • More accessibility

In this article I would like to show four tools to measure some of these important attributes, focused on how web apps or websites performs.

Tools

PageSpeed Insights

Based on Lighthouse and focused on user experience PageSpeed Insights helps us measure and improve the performance of our web page.

Also, the tool give us some tips about how to fix the issues that affect the performance, accessibility, security, best practices, among others.

The performance score is mainly represented by Web Vitals (Essential metrics for a healthy site).

Some useful metrics are:

  • First Contentful Paint (FCP)
  • Speed Index (SI)
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT)
  • Time to Interactive (TTI)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

You can found more information HERE.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest is an advanced web tool that provides information about how a page performs under a variety of conditions.

WebPageTest has a complete and detailed test where we can get useful information such us: Web Vitals, Security Score, Image Analysis, Effective Use of CDN, Cache Static Content and more.

It allows us to test a site from different locations, connections, browsers and screen sizes.

More information here: https://docs.webpagetest.org/

GitHub repository: https://github.com/WPO-Foundation/webpagetest

Pingdom

Pingdom is a speed test for websites focused on Page Load Time and find bottlenecks.

Pingdom shows metrics like: Performance grade, Page size, Load time, Number of requests, Response codes, etc.

It is possible to test the site from different locations.

Pingdom offers real time monitoring through paid subscriptions.

More info here: https://www.pingdom.com/

GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a very popular tool to find out how your site performs and discover optimization opportunities.

Besides Web Vitals (LCP, TBT, CLS) and others performance metrics like Browser Timings, GTmetrix analyse the structure of the website in order to find out how well the page is built for optimal performance.

GTmetrix also shows a unique score called GTmetrix Grade that summarize the result of the test.

GTmetrix has paid plans with PRO features, full reports, global monitoring, premium tests locations, mobile device testing, history visualization, etc.

Conclusions

Each tool measures, analyses and exposes information in different ways. Therefore, it's recommended to use more than one of these tools to makesure we will find all the issues that affect our site.

To sum up, a better quality will help us get more clients, increase sales and reduce costs.

Keywords: quality, tools, performance, security, SEO, accessibility.