Google Page Speed Insights is a relatively new tool by Google. It checks the speed of your site, delivered on both mobile & desktop devices. Clearly, Google uses this information to help them rank websites – those that perform poorly on mobile speed tests will be given a lower priority to mobile users in search results. It’s all part of their vision to organize the web & make everything super accessible to everyone.
Before we start looking at the Google Page Speed Score, I want to show you the results of all the tinkering, tweaking and fettling I had to do in order to achieve a perfect Google Page Speed Insights score. As you can see below, Pingdom Speed Test states that my website is faster than 97% of websites tested – that’s pretty damn awesome.
Really, I just did this to see if I could. With this particular website, I’m not hugely concerned with Google rankings and such – most traffic is driven via social sources.
How do these scores compare to major sites?
Take a look at some of the major websites that don’t come close to the same load times:
Note: I carried out all of these tests on the Pingdom website one after the other on 19/04/2017 – taking no account of time / whether it was a busy period.
On to the page speed insights
So, to prove that I’m not just making it up, here is some proof that I did indeed achieve a perfect score on both mobile & desktop.
The steps I took to achieve this are:
- Set up a LAMP stack VPS, ensuring Apache was the most up to date version & installed WordPress
- Update your Htaccess file to enable browser caching
- Enabled expires mod on Apache & restart Apache server
- Utilize a CDN for image delivery (e.g. Photon)
- Enable caching of content using tools such as WP Fastest Cache
- Minify HTML / scripts (removal of white space)
- Combine CSS / JS to reduce the number of HTTP requests made
- Use Gzip to compress & further improve site speed
- Move your scripts to footer to avoid render blocking (Speed Booster Pack Plugin)
- Compress all of your images
All of this needs to be used in conjunction with a nice, lightweight theme & with thought and consideration as to the number of plugins used & the number of widgets placed on the site.
Let’s compare again…
Now let’s compare Google Page Speed Insight scores. As you can see, they all score fairly poorly. If nothing else, it proves that large marketing budgets negate the need to play nice with Google. I wonder if businesses will ever change tact & follow Google’s guidelines to the letter – it’s certainly doubtful.