Google PageSpeed is a measure of the speed of a site, which Google estimates using a special algorithm. This indicator is one of the factors ranking sites in the search. In 2018, Google changed the algorithm, after which most of the popular sites tripled in speed.
We tell about our experience of what we did to regain our previous high-speed positions, and how to increase the speed of loading the site.
From the article you will learn:
How to check the PageSpeed site and how the PageSpeed algorithm has changed in 2018
PageSpeed site can be defined using Google PageSpeed Insights. It not only shows the page loading speed, but also helps to improve this parameter with the help of detailed recommendations.
The service accrues points for the speed of the site in the desktop and mobile versions. The maximum quantity is 100.
To check the speed, you need to go to the service page and enter the site name:
The speed of the Facebook site in the desktop version
Prior to changes in the operation of the algorithm, points were awarded for following the rules and completing tasks:
PageSpeed Insights says that the site is well done: it doesn’t use redirects, CSS in the content without scrolling – obeys the rules. Therefore, the site receives 100 points Since 2018, the PageSpeed algorithm focuses only on the speed of the site itself – in how long does the first content and its main part appear on the page, how many seconds are needed for the user to fully interact with the resource, the general speed index and other characteristics.
Page loading is estimated by several characteristics:
how long after the start of the download the first content appears, when the user can already click somewhere
how much everything slows down while loading, when the whole page loads.
These characteristics are compared with indicators of the best sites and turn into points – no one knows the exact evaluation procedure.
Before the changes in the algorithm, our PageSpeed in the desktop version was around 90 points out of 100 – this is the so-called green zone. After updating the algorithm, we fell into the red zone – fell from 90 to dangerous 33 points in the desktop version and from 40 to 23 in the mobile.
Therefore, they decided to urgently optimize the pages in order to return to their former glory.
What we did to increase PageSpeed
We conducted many experiments in order to understand what affects speed and how much.
We took several pages for tests – in particular, our shared hosting page.
We realized that if we consider each factor of influence on speed separately, we will not see the big picture. This is because a separate factor, of course, affects the speed, but insignificantly, and all of them in total – completely.
Therefore, we created pages on which we reproduced various combinations of optimizations. So we were able to find the most successful option for us.
With what we experimented to speed up the loading of the site:
instead of instantly downloading the chat, we did a delayed download of 6 seconds,
connected the lazyload parameter so that the images are loaded deferred,
they didn’t include a common CSS file, but only a piece of it for the desired page,
After each experiment, we measured page speed and tested new hypotheses again.
As a result, we realized that the most effective combination is to connect a piece of CSS for the desired page, do a chat postponement for 6 seconds and disable Google Tag Manager. Thus, our speed in the desktop version increased from 33 to 59 points, in the mobile – from 23 to 38.
We now regularly carry out work on optimizing PageSpeed - we look at what affects the website loading speed and we monitor the indicators.
We also noticed that PageSpeed scores can fluctuate within even one day. When experimenting with the same site for 10 minutes, the number of points for speed fluctuated – at first the service gave out 34 points, in 10 minutes – 43. This depends on the 3G / 4G networks used by the analytic company Lighthouse to provide data that varies in time server and database response for loading page resources – icons, images, fonts, CSS.
Tips for speeding up your site and improving PageSpeed
Check different combinations of factors on one page to understand what is best optimizing the site – one factor is unlikely to significantly affect the speed.
PageSpeed Insights gives tips on how to increase the speed of loading a site. He says where what sags and what needs to be done to optimize this: Example Tips for Optimizing Your Facebook Site Download
Pay attention also to the site’s speed in the mobile version – Google Page Insights gives an audit on the desktop and mobile versions. Optimized sites for the mobile version are becoming increasingly important for search engines today.
Be the first to check images – often the problem is that they are not optimized. Top Google Comments – upload pictures in new formats, insert the image code correctly. Google has also released an experimental Squoosh app that helps compress images.
Use the JPEG format for images – it is compressed without loss of quality.
Upload background images via external or third-party CSS.
Minimize spaces and comment tags – each letter or space takes up one byte of HTML code.
Remove unnecessary CSS. When you use pre-configured WordPress themes and plugins, they usually contain more code than you need. When PageSpeed Insights analyzes the page, click on “Cut HTML” – “View Content” – it will tell you how to speed up page loading.
Optimize databases – as a project grows, databases grow and work more slowly. Therefore, you need to regularly get rid of spam, unnecessary tables. You can delete unwanted data manually through phpMyAdmin in the SQL section or using third-party plugins.
Reduce the number of redirects and remove unnecessary plugins.
Configure browser-side caching. To do this, write the directives in the .htaccess file: Expires – responsible for the relevance of the cache: you can set the period from a week to a year. Last-Modified and ETag – set a unique id in the cache for each url.
Try using Google tools for optimizing downloads.
After the implemented improvements, regularly monitor the PageSpeed site and carry out work to optimize it. And the PageSpeed Insights service will always help you with this – it will tell you how to speed up the site.