Online Speed Test Tools

Online speed tests can provide useful metrics to measure the performance of a website, along with detailed breakdowns of potential bottlenecks. As with all web applications, knowing how to interpret these results is key to understanding your web sites actual performance. Magento performance issues often arise from inefficient code or extensions; on fast hosting a well built Magento store runs as fast as the site code will allow it.

Time To First Byte

From a hosting perspective, Time to first byte (TTFB) is the relevant metric to look for when testing the performance of a Magento store. TTFB refers to the time between a customer entering your store URL into their browser and the first byte of data being received back from the server. During this time a customer's browser will not provide any visual indication of content being loaded. A long TTFB can often be attributed to poorly written code - this can lead to a store ‘crashing’ during busy times such as sale events.

Popular Speed Test Tools

  • GTmetrix
    GTmetrix’s results can cause some confusion due to the weighting of its letter grade system. When performing a speed test using GTmetrix, consider the geographical location of the test server as this can impact the accuracy of results. The Waterfall breakdown is a good place to see TTFB.

  • Pingdom Speed Tester
    Using the Pingdom Speed Tester, TTFB can be found under the File Load section of the test results. This provides a waterfall breakdown of time taken to load each file individually. The TTFB is represented in the waterfall breakdown as wait time.

  • Google PageSpeed
    Google PageSpeed suggests possible fixes for a poorly performing website, however the information is more focused on static page content. The TTFB value is listed as server response time.

  • WebPageTest
    WebPageTest provides a waterfall breakdown, with TTFB on the first and consecutive loads to account for caching.


Definition of a fast site

A fast Magento site is one in which the page load times of the Homepage, Product and Category pages are all within a reasonable range. Listed below are the speed values expected on a Magento store hosted with M.D.G. IT.

M.D.G. IT VPS Hosting Packages:
  • Homepage - 120ms - 450ms
  • Product - 120ms - 450ms
  • Category - 120ms - 450ms
M.D.G. IT Shared Hosting Packages:
  • Homepage - 300ms - 800ms
  • Product - 600ms - 950ms
  • Category - 600ms - 950ms
M.D.G. IT provide a tool to measure the TTFB values of your Magento store: http://speedtest.mdg-it.com.au/
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