Why You Should Care About PageSpeed
Because Google considers this to be very important while ranking your website
The PageSpeed of your website is one of the most important factors Google considers while ranking. Although this wasn’t so a couple of years ago, the significance of page loading times (how quickly your website loads in your browser or mobile device) has been snowballing with time. Surveys from Gomez.com have shown that more than 50% of users expect your page to load within 2-3 seconds. Most will leave if you make them wait much more. Also, a slow loading website will also mean a slower crawl rate and hence the speed at which Google will index the pages of your site will also be delayed. Research shows that people don’t like to visit a slow website or even buy from them. It’s the websites that have been speed optimized that enhances the user experience. Therefore, if you want to boost traffic to your website in an organic way and reach higher rankings, you will have to increase the PageSpeed of the pages on your website. A fast site is a user-friendly site.
The main areas to optimize are images, JS, CSS, and plugins. These are the top resource stealing items. I’ve seen many clients uploading high-res photos to their sites and then asking why it’s so slow. If a standard sites home page in under 3mb and you have five images each at 800kb, well the math will tell you the answer. It’s usually the first thing we perform. Plugins can also be resource hogs. What we say is “if you’re not using it remove it.” Keep the plugins to less than 10 total. Turn them off if not needed continually. PX Media uses 9 plugins. The trick is knowing what plugins? 3 of these are only to make our site faster.
Sometimes it’s better to custom code a function than to install a plugin
Although you can see that this page loads in 5.30 seconds the vital part of the page is above the fold, this is why the score ranks so good. Above the fold loads quickly as the remaining lower portion loads without noticing.
If you could see the lower area of your site, Below the fold at the same time, you wouldn’t see much more than the raw text and no photos. We add code to the place that only triggers content to load if its within the browser window. It allows a page with large amounts of material or photos do not load everything on the page, just what you see. It alone will push your score 10-15 points up.
The first thing you need to do before you increase the page speed of your site is to check its load time using one of the site speed tools below. Checking from different locations might give you different results, which is why all speed tools may not give you identical results. Therefore, it is better to try out a couple of the tools to get an average time, without relying on just one.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Apart from providing you with the load time of your website, Pingdom also gives you a performance grade that it calculates based on various factors. It monitors your site continuously, checking its speed, uptime, and performance at a nominal charge per month.
Yslow is a free tool that you can use to find out the performance grade of any website that you may visit. It has about twenty performance grades that it applies to rate sites. Also, you can even take advantage of some free advice on how to improve the performance and speed of your website. You will love the way this tool breaks down the details.
WebPagetest gives you the load time of your website and also grades it based on its performance. There are about six different performance grades it provides based on a variety of factors. It also gives you a few suggested changes that you can work on to improve the speed of your website. The option to select the country from which you want to run your test makes it easier to find out how your site performs in different places of the world.
Once you test your websites on all these tools, you will be able to get a complete overview of how your site performs.
Plugins for PageSpeed Speed
One more way to speed up your site is to install a caching plugin. A few good ones below include:
We put it at the top of the list for a reason. It does do Cache quite will but, the best thing about WPMU DEV is it has many more plugins that will do wonders to all aspects of optimizing your site. It includes apps for SEO, PageSpeed, CDN, image optimization, overall site security, backups, and more. Used by PX Media.
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is an excellent plugin which does exactly what it is supposed to do – cache your site.
WP Rocket provides a solution to increase the speed of your site minus risks and hassles. Although this is a better plugin, you have to pay for this as against WP Super Cache that comes absolutely free. Note: Used by PX Media.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is also an excellent plugin to cache your site and increase its speed. However, it may not work for everyone. It’s the top of the line tool and has many options. Too many for the less experienced but once nicely tuned in will make your site load very quickly. It is capable of improving a score from 50 to 80 or more..
Suggestions to improve Site Speed
Apart from using a site speed tool and installing a caching plugin, there are many other things that you can do to increase the speed of your website. These include:
- Moving to another hosting service (You get what you pay for)
- Optimizing the images on your site (oversized images are awful for load speed)
- Minimizing HTTP requests (Fewer files is faster)
- Enabling the option to compress your web page (Browser caching and server caching)
- Using a CDN (CloudFlare is very easy to setup) Note: Used by PX Media. Not just for our clients but on our site as well.
- Optimizing your CSS delivery (This takes some experience so be careful)
Doing a bit of research might help you come up with many other solutions to increase the speed of your website. Although this might take a bit of your time and efforts, it is very much worthwhile to hire a professional.
It doesn’t matter where you’re company is located, in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Las Vegas or anywhere in the world. Have PX Media test your site and show you what needs to be corrected and PageSpeed optimized to get your PageSpeed up to par. Contact us now to get a free site audit.
Plan Your Plan
Maybe you’re just looking or already have a vision of what you need. Give us a call and we will help prioritize the tasks needed to start your project. We’ll merge your ideas with the latest technology to reach your goals. Done once, done right. The first time.