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Top 5 Free Front End Performance Testing Tools

Performance-Testing

Till the early 2000, web pages were mostly static and all the processing was done on the server side only. This architecture demanded that only the server side performance should be optimized in order to overcome the performance bottlenecks. With the advent of web 2.0, web applications became more dynamic and lots of processing on the client side became a necessity as well. This change in the architecture forced the performance engineers to revise their web application performance testing strategies and they started to realize the importance of web page front end performance testing as well. Client side performance bottlenecks are even more important as they have a greater impact on the user experience. According to a survey conducted by Yahoo, the web application overall performance can only be increased up to 10% by improving its backend performance up to 50% but by increasing its front end performance by 50%, the overall performance can be increased up to 40%.

Fortunately, measuring the web applications front end components performance is quite simple and you don’t need to purchase expensive performance testing tools or prepare large scale infrastructure for it. There are various free platforms available online which can provide you any specific web page architecture, their performance statistics and bottlenecks along with the recommendations as to how you can overcome these bottlenecks. Based on the feature list, the following 5 top web page performance testing tools have been selected:

Page Speed

Page Speed test service (launched by Google) is available as both an online service as well as Firefox and Google Chrome browsers plug-in. Page speed evaluates the web page performance in accordance with the set of front end performance optimization rules known as web performance best practices as defined by the researchers. Following are some of the distinct features of Page speed:

It provides the web page performance overall score based on the front end performance optimization rules.
Page speed provides complete detail of the time spent on web page’s different components i.e. Images, CSS and Java Script files etc.
It lists down all the web page’s bottlenecks along with their details as well as all the possible solutions in order to help the developers to quickly fix those issues.
Page speed also highlights all the good practices which are already followed by the developers to optimize the web page speed.
Page speed provides all the above mentioned information for mobile devices browsers as well.

Y-Slow

Y-slow is a web page speed testing browser plug-in (launched by Yahoo) which is available for almost all the modern browsers except IE. Similar to page speed, Y-slow also checks the individual web pages performance against the set of web page performance rules. Following is the list of the distinct features of Y-slow:It evaluates the page based on the 23 rules out of 34 rules which are

It evaluates the page based on the 23 rules out of 34 rules which are measureable as researched by the Google Performance Team for front end performance optimization.
It grades the web page based on the set of web page performance optimization rules.
Y-slow provides the list of performance bottlenecks in web page along with their possible solutions.
It provides summarized information of the web page’s components performance.

Web Page Test

Web page test is a Google sponsored free online service which provides the web page complete performance details on a particular browser when it is accessed from a specific location. Following is the detailed list of web page test’s features:

It provides web page performance results for modern browsers on different internet connections (including mobile 3G connection) from different geographical locations.
Web page test also provides advanced test options like multistep transactions, video capturing and content blocking etc.
It provides results for iPhone and Android devices browsers as well along with the desktop browsers.
You can also compare different web pages performance results through web page test.
It also provides web page diagnostics information like waterfall charts and page speed optimization checks along with the performance optimization suggestions.
Web page test also provides the page statistics on first view and repeated view along with the details of server responses.

Pingdom

Pingdom is another powerful free online web pages performance analysis service which provides web page performance analysis from different geographical locations. Following is the list of the main features of Pingdom:

Pingdom provides page performance grades for all requests.
It provides complete details of download time of all the web page components like HTML, CSS, JavaScript files and images etc.
Pingdom also provides server responses of the page requests, page load time, size and the request analysis.
It also helps users to check the web page statistics from 3 different geographical locations like Amsterdam (Netherland), New York City (USA) and Dallas (USA).
You can also tweet and email your web page Pingdom results.

BrowserMob – Neustar

Neustar is another free online service (offered by BrowserMob) to test the web page performance from different geographical locations. Following is the list of Neustar’s features:

Neustar provides web page average load time, its total size and page requests information.
It provides web page statistics from 4 different geographical locations like California, Washington DC, Singapore and Dublin etc. in order to provide the web page global performance results.
Neustar also provides the details of each page component share in page load time.

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