Most, if not all bloggers install the famous Alexa toolbar in their browsers to test their blogs and sites, and to put eyes on page loading time. But, is Alexa toolbar the ideal tool for page speed? For now, the tool is used essentially to find the site traffic. This is the first function that people use in that extension, but, what about the average page speed?
Alexa average load time in Toolbar
If you test your blog speed with one of the popular tools like Google Page Speed Insight, Gtmetrix, or Pingdom, you will find different conclusions. The main reason is that each tool uses its own parameters to test any website page speed, and give a score from 0 to 100.
Now, to make my own test and find which is the exact page speed tool and tester, I will test one of the fastest pages on the web, It’s Google.com. It’s a simple page without images in general, but sometimes you will find on the Google homepage an image for a popular person’s birthday as today. But, in general, the page loads fast, and we can use it to compare results.
Test with Google Chrome
First, I will test The Google.com page directly with the Alexa average load time (toolbar). The average loading time from the Alexa toolbar is 1.8 seconds, and it concluded that 54% of all sites are faster than Google.com!!! So, if we say that the Alexa test is true, we should conclude that 54% of internet sites have a white page. Or, with a few words to be faster than Google.com. (Google.com page has the minimum content).
Now, let’s say that Alexa has the true result and half of the websites in the world have less content than Google.com, I will test the same page with Google insights.
Google Page speed test
As you can see in this test, Google has a score of 92% for mobile devices and 98% for desktop. Make your own conclusion and compare it with your experience when opening the Google.com page in your browser.
Test with Pingdom
With the Pingdom test tool, Google homepage has a score of 82 out of 100 and marked as Faster than 93% of all websites. It’s completely different from the Alexa score and result. At the same time, the loading time is 0.78 seconds with an image and a few Java scripts.
Please remember that Google.com is a simple search box the majority of the time. So, the page has less than 120 kilobytes of size in general. As you can see, the Pingdom test is near to the logic, the page is Fast.
Gtmetrix page speed test
For this page speed tool, the score for the same web page (as all other tools) is 98% and 97% for the Yslow Grade. Now, ask yourself, if the result is logical or not, and open the Google home page to compare, does it loads fast?
With all the three tools, the Google home page is fast, and it’s a logical result compared to what we can see as a human in our browsers. However, Alexa has its own result which is illogical at all.
Why the Alexa test is different
The Alexa toolbar is not an exact method to test any website page speed, simply because the test script will take more time, to give you back the results. Alexa script will first be loaded with the website page, and then send its own statistics to the Alexa server. But, that code will take the time to do all that, so the result will be done with additional time (seconds).
The Alexa toolbar will be active only when all the Java scripts are completely loaded, then send statistics to their server.
Also, you need to know that the toolbar can give wrong results if the speed of the Internet connection is slow in the browser. And if you add that they show the average loading time for the last months, it becomes useless, and you can’t run a real-time test.
All the other tools that I used to test the page speed on their own servers without waiting for Java Scripts. So, the result will be nearer to the exact loading time. At the same time, their score is logical to reality.
All the above page speed test tools use different parameters to rank a page loading time and compare it to other sites. Alexa average time test is another tool with its own parameters, but with illogical results, the main reason for this is the toolbar itself.
There is an additional time added to the page loading time. My own conclusion is that Alexa is the best tool to test website traffic, but not to test its page speed.