Google PageSpeed Insights: A Tool to Boost Your Page Load Speed
Alexander Shut / 06.16.2017426
Page load speed is more important than you may think. It does influence the way visitors (and 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 GooglePage Speed Insights?
Google 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 Insights: 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.
Google PageSpeed Insights: How to Increase Page Load 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!