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 years ago, the significance of page loading times (how quickly your website loads in your browser or mobile device) has been growing rapidly 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 slow. 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 highres images to their sites and then asking why it’s so slow. It a normal sites home page in under 3mb and you have 5 images each at 3mb, well the math will tell you the answer. It normally the first thing we take care of. Plugins can also be resource hogs. What we say is “if you’re not using it remove it”. Keep the plugins to less than 10-15 total. Turn them off if not needed continually. PX Media uses 14 plugins. The trick is knowing what plugins? 5 of these are only to make our site faster.
Sometimes its better to custom code a function than to install a plugin
Although you can see that this page loads in 5.30 seconds the important 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 site that only triggers content to load if its within the browser window. This allows a page with large amounts of content or photos to not load everything on the page, just what you see. This along will push your score 10-15 points
First thing you need to do before you increase the pagespeed 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 website 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 uses to rate websites. 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 gives based on a variety of factors. It also gives you a few suggested changes that you can work on in order 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 website 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 the way in which 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:
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. Not just for our clients but on our site as well.
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is also a good plugin to cache your site and increase its speed. However, it may not work for everyone. This is the top of the line tool and has may options. To 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 a 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 extremely bad for load speed)
- Minimizing HTTP requests (Less 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 if you’re 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 in order to get your PageSpeed up to par. Click Here
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