How to test WordPress Dashboard or Admin pages using GTMetrix

GTMetrix is one of the popular tools to test speed and performance of websites.

It is easy to analyse any public or frontend webpage but it needs additional settings to test logged-in pages or WordPress Admin area. In this tutorial, we will cover how to test speed of WordPress dashboard or WordPress Admin pages using GTMetrix. However, you can use these steps to analyse almost any kind of logged-in or Admin pages for non-WordPress websites as well.

Most of the time we only analyse performance of public pages in WordPress because Admin pages are accessed by less number of users. We mainly worry about the experience of our website visitors on frontend. However, if you are adding some complex feature or setting in the dashboard and it will be used by a lot of logged-in users, it is good to test its performance as well.

How to test WordPress Admin pages using GTMetrix:

GTMetrix can analyse WordPress dashboard or admin pages, if we provide login session cookies in GTMetrix’s Cookies settings. Here are the steps:

Note: For security purposes, you should use only the testing account’s session information.

Step 1: Copy WordPress Admin cookies:

First, you need to copy session related cookies (or you can copy all if not sure about needed cookies) for the page your are going to test. These cookies are used to authenticate user login before providing access to Admin pages.

Based on your browser, you can find all cookies listed in developer tools (or inspect element). Here is an example to find cookies in Google chrome:

Step 2: Prepare cookies format for GTMetrix:

You can paste copied cookies in any Spreadsheet or MS Excel, keep only the first two columns and delete all others columns. We need to prepare cookies name and value in the following format for GTMetrix settings.

Either you can manually do it or you can use a spreadsheet formula if there are a lot of cookies. You can use any Spreadsheet app (like MS Excel) or simply use a Google Docs spreadsheet online.

Here is an example that shows how to apply =A1&"="&B1 formula on the first two columns to generate the desired format on column three. Now, we have a ‘cookie=value’ format that can be used in GTMetrix.

Step 3: Update cookies in GTMetrix:

To update settings, you need to login GTMetrix. After login, you will find [Analysis Options > Advanced Options > Cookies] settings. Here, you can paste all your cookies. See example below:

Step 4: Finally, Analyze your website.

Now, you can add your Admin page URL and analyze it.

Your testing is successful if you see the given page screenshot in GTMetrix.

Your testing is not successful if it shows a login page screenshot in GTMetrix (generally you will be redirected to the login page if admin pages are not accessible). Incase of failure, try another admin page or copy cookies again by logout/login once. 

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