Sitespeed.io is a really wonderful open source tool that automatically provides a rich set of information about Web site performance and how well Web pages are optimized versus best practices. Sitespeed.io can crawl all of the pages on Web site or just the Web pages you wish. It’s a little more complicated than some of the other free tools (link) I have been sharing. Let’s call this a pro-sumer tool rather than a consumer tool. But really, if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves just a little – it’s very worth it.
Sitespeed.io can also crawl multiple sites allowing you to compare yourself to your key competitors. Differences in how fast your Web site feels of just a quarter or half second can have dramatic affects on conversion and retention meaning this stuff is important to the business!
Let’s take a look at what you get before providing a couple of helpful tips to help you get it running for yourself.
You get a reasonably comprehensive set of reports starting with a scorecard-like summary that provides a high-level scorecard about presenting key Web site optimization and performance metrics.
The detailed summary page statistically analyzes all of the optimization, content, and performance metrics.
What really caught my eye were the rich Web performance and user experience data provided that are available in the latest web browsers (Chrome 30+ and IE 11) courtesy of the w3c timings API. If you are a web performance geek like me this should make you say wow!
An analysis of each individual page is provided too.
There are many ways this tool can be used to help you improve site quality and performance. As part of the QA process sitespeed would be an excellent part of the tool-chain for verification that changes haven’t negatively affected optimization scores or created performance issues. Marketing should be using this tool to benchmark key site functions against core competitors to improve conversion and loyalty. The web operations team can use this as a very capable monitoring function. And for those of you out there actually doing Continuous Integration (CI), these metrics should be automatically gathered and analyzed at every build.
Sitespeed.io is really the glue and HTML report output that is consolidated from some other really great open source tools such as Yahoo’s Yslow, phantom.js, and browsertime. These are command-line tools so you’ll need to be comfortable at a terminal screen. I configured this on a 5 year old Macbook Pro that had a fresh install of OS X Mavericks.
Before continuing you’ll want to install the latest Java from www.java.com.
Now you’re ready to follow the straightforward documentation from sitespeed.io to install and use.
If you are involved with web performance, website optimization or user experience and you’re comfortable at a terminal prompt you really should give this one a whirl.