The site was originally created as a tool for their own hosted customers to check the speed of their websites and improve them, but over the years it has become a go-to resource for so many performance experts, regardless of where the site is hosted.
They have always relied on a combination of Google PageSpeed and the YSlow systems for grading sites, giving them a score and percentage for each. However, as the web has progressed, these tools have fallen behind. For example, they don’t account for HTTP2 and actually provide advice that would make your site slower if you followed it in these instances.
To combat this, GTmetrix are overhauling their system, adding new test locations and moving to Google’s Lighthouse gradings. Lighthouse focuses more on the user experience, how a website will feel to a user, including looking at the new Core Web Vitals (more on those in a future post!). This is particularly important, as Google has indicated that these will likely influence their page ranking in the future.
In the UK we’re pretty lucky because there’s already a test location in London, but for other areas of Europe there will be locations added in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and Stockholm, as well as 11 others around the global. However, these will be “premium locations” and only available under one of the new PRO plans.
Instead of the current 3 plans (Bronze, Silver and Gold – introduced in 2012), there will be 6 new ones, including Basic (Free), Solo, Start and Growth.
These are due to land this month (September 2020) – so watch this space!