GTmetrix.com is the highly popular tool for analysing and optimizing the performance of your website. By applying both Google PageSpeed and Yahoo! YSlow tests to your site, GTmetrix can help you develop a faster, more efficient, and all-around improved website experience for your users.
GTmetrix for WordPress integrates the core functionality of GTmetrix directly into WordPress. Users can now run analyses, schedule reports, and send alerts about the status of their site all from the comfort of their own WordPress Admin areas.
Once the plugin is installed, the first step is to configure your settings. All you need to get started is a free GTmetrix API account. On signing up you are immediately given 100 credits, and if necessary your account will be topped up to 20 credits every day. Every GTmetrix test you run will use up one credit. If you’d like to run even more tests than your free credits will allow, you can go PRO, and the sky is your limit.
Enter your GTmetrix account email and your API key into the settings screen, and you’ll be authorized. You can now set up a few defaults to make life easier. You can set you default location to the city nearest to your target audience, so that when you run a test on a URL, the report returned will reflect the experience of a user connecting from this location. You can also choose whether or not to take ads into account when testing your site.
Now you’re ready to start running your tests. On the tests page, you can simply click the button to test your front page immediately, or you can enter any page URL. If you start typing a page title, the plugin will even make suggestions as you type. You can give this test a label, just to make future reference that bit easier. Click the Test URL Now button, and the GTmetrix scan will start.
Within a few seconds, the results will appear under the reports list. At a glance you can see your Page Speed and YSlow scores. Click on the report and you’ll have access to more detail, including page load times and sizes. You’ll also find links to an even more detailed report on the GTmetrix website, and a PDF download.
So now you have a report for your page, but you want to make sure those high scores are maintained. After all, this is a living, breathing website; content changes, themes are tweaked, plugins come and go. No problem. GTmetrix for WordPress enables you to set up a schedule for automated tests.
Just click on the icon or the link under the report details, and the parameters of your report will be transferred to the scheduling screen. Here you can define how often you’d like the page to be retested. You can also enable email notifications – just check the box, then choose the thresholds that you should be informed about.
With your scheduled tests running, you’ll be able to check how your site is faring at any time. Just go to the Tests page and click on any summary. The expanded view will show your latest results, as well as providing you with three graphs that allow you to monitor the performance of your pages over time.
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GTmetrix is a powerful and FREE speed analysis tool for your website. It’s developed by Gossamer Threads, a Vancouver-based company with over 16 years experience in web technology. From managed hosting, to consulting, to development – they love helping to build faster sites.
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