Google PageSpeed Insights: A Tool to Boost Your Page Load Speed
Alexander Shut / 06.16.2017902
Page load speed is more important than you may think. It does influence SEO and the way visitors (potential clients) treat your website.
This is pretty much due to the fact that modern users have become quite impatient, to say the least. If 5-7 years ago no one would’ve panicked and spat curses awaiting the website content to load on the screen, now people get frustrated when that happens.
«What, you’re not capable of doing a website that actually LOADS? Sorry, won’t get any attention and money from me, I’m off!» this is what people often think (sometimes out loud).
What Is Google Page Speed Insights?
PageSpeed Insights is a free developer tool by Google. It contains a great deal of recommendations and guidelines for developers on how to achieve maximum page load speed for your web page.
What it does:
- analyzes the web page by its URL;
- defines the problems it may contain that slow it down;
- provides a list of recommendations on how to rectify those problems.
What it doesn’t do is optimizing the web page for you - now, that would’ve been great, wouldn’t it?)
Not convinced yet? Read on to find out more about the amazing things that Google PageSpeed Insights does.
Not only page load speed pisses your visitors off, it pisses off Google search engine algorithm, and that’s even worse. Bad user experience equals lower page rank of the search engine results page (SERP).
Likewise, the faster your website loads, the better chances of ranking high you get.
What Makes a Fast Loading Web Page?
Page load speed is a whole set of parameters, which cannot be treated all the same.
If your web page loads slowly, it’s probably because:
- The visitor has a slow-running Internet connection
If this is the case, there’s only so much we can do about it. Try convincing people switch to a faster Internet provider - nah, that wouldn’t work, we’ve tried.
Therefore, your best shot at this is to optimize your web page content so that it would load faster without fancy gimmicks like animation, 1080p fullscreen videos, super hi-res pictures, and so on.
The way you do it is by allowing the main content load first so that visitors could start browsing the page immediately while you gradually load the rest of the content.
- There are some issues with the website hosting
If your website exists on some poor-performing hosting, you’ve got to move it to a better one. There’s no other way other than choosing a more reliable and stable hosting.
One thing you might also want to look into is the website code - perhaps, it could benefit from some refactoring and optimization.
- The page is too «heavy»
«Heavy» means weight in kilobytes. The more kilobytes your website has, the slower it will load. What you should do in this case is put your website on a diet by decreasing the size of content, e.g. by compressing the images or changing their format.
Google PageSpeed Optimization: How the Magic Pill Works
In order to explore the tool itself and discover its capabilities, check out this page https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights.
Paste your web page URL into the field and click the «Analyze» button.
The service offers two categories of insights - for your mobile version and for the PC version. Therefore, all the scores and recommendations will be given for those two separately.
The score is from 0 to 100. Obviously, the more score you get, the better your page performs.
If your website got the score of 86 and more, it could be considered «fast». If the score is between 70 and 86, it's «fairly decent». Everything below 70 means that there are problems waiting to be solved.
While running your web pages through this analyzer tool, you may see the following indicators:
- RED - critical issues
If your website is in the red zone, you’ve got to rectify all the required issues ASAP. Here’s what it may look like.
For the PC version:
For the mobile version:
- ORANGE - issues that require attention, although not immediate
The issues that are orange, do not pose an immediate threat to your website performance but it would be better if you fixed them in the nearest future.
- GREEN - everything’s cool
Congratulations! You’ve done it all right.
How to increase your website loading speed?
First of all, you should validate your website and fix all the code errors (there’s got to be some). Old HTML elements and CSS can stall the optimization process.
Don’t forget to run the website via tools like http://validator.w3.org/ and fix all the mistakes it suggests.
There might be other problems on your website, such as:
- Slow server response time
If the website itself doesn’t load as fast you’d like it to but the PHP-file loads fast enough, you ought to check the drive scripts. Weird plugins can be slowing down the process.
- Oversized, heavy images
Check all the images you have to see if there are heavy ones. If yes, compress and re-upload them.
Once you’re through with all these procedures, you will see how different your website will start to behave.
Don’t forget to check your website and optimize it from time to time. Good luck!
Page speed optimization services from Zwebra
How fast your website pages load is one of the most important metrics showcasing the quality of the code and design. Not many (if any) freelancers, beginners, or small-time studios can deliver that kind of quality for your website. What usually happens is your website appearing in the “red” zone of Google Page Load Speed Insights, which is a sign of poor optimization and, what’s more important, is going to get your website ranked lower on Google.
When you’re getting your corporate website developed at Zwebra, the web page speed optimization comes as an additional option.
Getting a website into the “green” zone and optimizing for page speed is a tough task and requires an extra week of work - mainly from frontend developer and Google PageSpeed optimizer - but Google PageSpeed optimization is really worth it!
We also provide PageSpeed optimization services for those clients who already have their websites up and running but would like them to be optimized.
We’ve got over 25 page load speed optimization cases in our portfolio, including websites built on WordPress, ModX, OpenCart, Magento, and various custom CMSs. Let’s take a look at one of them.
How to Fix a Poor WordPress Google PageSpeed Score
If you don’t know how to optimize a WordPress website loading speed, you should first do page speed testing using an online tool to check the current score for the desktop and mobile version of the website. As a result, you will get a list of Google PageSpeed recommendations.
What is a good Google PageSpeed score?
The score is made up of such factors as:
- the number of redirects (links to other pages);
- compression of the available resources;
- quick server response;
- browser cache enabled;
- markup, styles, and scripts are down to minimum;
- correct rendering of styles and scripts;
- quick rendering of the first screen;
- disabling the scripts, which slow down the rendering of the first screen;
- optimized images.
This is actually true for all websites. Fortunately enough, WordPress websites have got the tools, which can really help to improve the PageSpeed score without much hassle. We are talking about WordPress plugins.
The first plugin is Google PageSpeed Insights, which is eponymous to the Google’s original tool. It allows you to run tests and generate reports on the current page speed issues.
Next up are plugins for image compression and their smart loading, which is extremely important for the mobile version of a website.
More stuff you can do to increase WordPress website speed:
- page caching;
- database optimization;
- disabling unnecessary/excessive features and plugins;
- CDN integration.
WordPress PageSpeed optimization service is one of our top-requested services today. Considering the fact that load speed is the key SEO factor leading to higher Google ranking, it’s no wonder so many clients are after it.