How DevTools is used to test WordPress websites?

Testing your WordPress site is important to understand its performance. This should be done each year but every other month is a good precaution. DevTools can help you with this.

People often question why they need to test the performance of their site. While the importance of it is focused upon each year by developers and experts, it seldom is heard. In the simplest terms, testing your site is what will lead to a great user experience. The faster and more responsive your site is, the better the engagement you will be able to get from your audience. This is true a number of different factors that the website experience gives, such as:

  • User-friendly nature of faster web pages;
  • Better rankings in search engines like Google;
  • More conversion rates.

Despite these glaring benefits, people have difficulties in making a start. The questions that arise are confused about how one can test their WordPress site, why performance matters and how you can find out if your site is actually slow. For businesses that value their site and the traffic it brings, using DevTools is a great way to understand and oversee performance.

What happens when your site doesn’t work

It can be a huge problem if your WordPress site stops working or is abysmally slow. This puts off visitors from the outset and you will experience:

  • Loss of traffic;
  • Less credibility from potential clients;
  • A disadvantage of losing prospects who are no longer interested in your products or services.

These are some of the main reasons why your site needs to stay up to date and runs effectively so users do not face any extra issues.

There are always precautions you can take to ensure that there is no underlying problem when someone is trying to load your web pages. Chrome DevTools is a means that Google has built-in which is useful in testing WordPress sites, such as the ones made by Webilistic.

Using DevTools for site testing

These are a combination of developer tools that you can find in your Google Chrome browser. They help in editing your pages instantly and can figure out if there is a problem with your site. DevTools is a great way to ensure that your site is fast and that there is no traffic loss. Developers are able to work directly with the applications in the browser to:

  1. Manage issues with the UI;
  2. Debug and coding issues within the site;
  3. Optimize the already existing code of your pages.

One of the prime ways DevTools can be used is for testing WordPress site performance. It can be tricky to make improvements to an already working site and you may not consider it that big of an issue. But gauging what works for your business and then applying it to your website is a big step in ensuring that everything is running smoothly. The main function of the tool is speed testing and fixing.

DevTools’ main features

The tool is good at giving a tangible measurement of your website’s performance and suggesting further approvals. It comes with a few features which are effective in completing the job.

Elements panel

This is the first tab that you will see by default. The elements panel is a DOM inspector and CSS style viewer which is how you identify the problem with your site.

Sources panel

This is a JavaScript debugger and the JavaScript console which is used to oversee the code of your pages.

Resources and timeline panels

These let you look at info regarding resources that make web pages and understand the performance of your site by breaking down different load times.

Once the right tool understands the problem with your WordPress site, it will then give you an effective solution. The change you make need to be copied and put into the custom CSS box before your live site can represent them. You may also input these changes directly into your style.css file but this is a bit more complex.

Making your WordPress changes

You will need to select a certain element and then inspect it thoroughly before you can find out the issue with the HTML code and its associated CSS code. This will then be displayed in the browser and once you have perfected your changes, they can be live previewed. Adding this new rule to live editors within the WordPress dashboard is one way of keeping them in place but it makes for bad coding practice. Therefore, you will have to go the extra mile and properly put in your changes. This will directly affect a number of factors.

Optimizing headers

Checking any headers you have is important in case there are ways you can optimize caching strategies. These policies are set by different servers and sites and once you optimize headers, the speed of your website will automatically increase.

Responsiveness of code

The visual representation of an HTML tag or a picture can be seen in the Preview tab whenever you need so you understand what your site looked like. The Response tab will then show you the full code.

Enabling Content Delivery Network (CDN)

By using a WordPress CDN, 99.9% of sites see improved speeds. What DevTools does for you is to locate the main issue with your content and the location of your users to allow CDN more control in increasing speeds.

Load times

The timing tab will look at the overall times of different phases which were required when downloading an asset. It mainly analyzes the following.

Queuing

You will be able to queue the assets on your WordPress site and to avoid slowing down your processes, DevTools can use a host that utilizes the HTTP/2 protocol.

Waiting (TTFB)

This time can be checked for any HTML document regarding a specific page. This will include bootstrapping of WordPress, performing PHP functions, and running database queries, amongst other tasks.

Conclusion

Using DevTools is helpful as its usability is effective and gives quick results. Whether it is being used by professional developers or by amateurs trying to test their WordPress sites, it is able to give the right solution for each major issue.

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