Using WebPageTest
Web Performance Testing for Novices and Power Users
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2015
Pages: 214

Learn basic and advanced uses of WebPagetest, the performance measurement tool for optimizing websites. This practical guide shows users new to this tool how run tests and interpret results, and helps experienced users gain a better and more thorough understanding of hidden features in WebPagetest that make testing easier.

Written by WebPagetest power users and performance experts, this book will help web developers and frontend engineers solve the problem of slow sites. Topics include:

  • Basic test setup—shows beginners how to get meaningful results
  • Advanced test setup—provides another level of technical depth by explaining features not thoroughly documented at
  • Analysis of results—helps you understand of how to interpret test results
  • Private instance setup—teaches power users the intricacies of the webpagetest private instance and how it works
  • API and external tools—provides a detailed reference for the API and demonstrates tools already using the API to extend WebPagetest
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oreillyUsing WebPageTest

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Rewarding guide to getting the most out of WebPageTest

By igrigorik

from San Francisco

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer


  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Using WebPageTest:

    WebPageTest is an indispensable tool in every performance engineer's toolkit. If you're an existing user, this book will fill in and explain important gaps. If you're just getting into the performance field, this book will give you a fast head start on the rest of us, who had to learn it through trial and error.

    The book is split into three high-level sections:

    Basic Use Cases: offers a walkthrough of the waterfall, connection view, and the metrics that WPT results provide. Think of it as web performance 101: what metrics you should look for and where, how to interpret them, and how to compare tests. In short, a good intro for someone new to the field, and a quick skim for those familiar with the topic.

    Intermediate Use Cases: a more accurate description would be "test setup". This is a great section that covers the many decisions you have to make to ensure that you're measuring the right things: picking the browser, location to run the test from, picking the right network profile, scripting multi-visit flows, testing authenticated pages, and more. Too many folks overlook all this, which leads them to focus on optimizing the wrong bottlenecks -- don't make this mistake! This section provides a nice hands-on look for how to use your existing analytics data to set all the parameters.

    Advanced Use Cases: a hands-on look at driving WPT through API (e.g. monitoring performance changes over time), integrating it with your build infrastructure (e.g. to detect performance regressions at commit time, before they reach production), and setting up your own private instances (e.g. to test pages that can't or shouldn't be reached by public agents). The instructions are simple and easy to follow; you'll be up and running in no time.

    In summary, a quick and rewarding read. A perfect book for someone new to the field, and a helpful resource for the rest of us. I wish I had this book when I started, it would have saved me a lot of time!

    (12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)



    By Ted

    from Cleveland, OH

    About Me Sys Admin

    Verified Buyer


    • Accurate
    • Helpful examples


      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Using WebPageTest:

      I'm reviewing a partial, pre-release copy of the book. So far its very informative and current to webpagetest. Since I use the site daily I have not learned a lot, but some explanations have led to a better understanding of the features.

      What I would like to see (and I don't see it in the proposed contents) is an explanation of how the various browsers differ. I know this is a moving target but even a "generic" discussion would be helpful.

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