31 May

Google Pagespeed Insights

Google Pagespeed Insights

Google Pagespeed Insights – One of the things that any developer should be conscious of when designing a web site is how to optimize website speed and loading times. Firstly, you need to be aware that website speed and page loading times are not the same thing, in fact it can be argued that page loading times are a lot more important especially if you are a customer based business.

Google are more inclined to promote fast loading websites in the search rankings which is always useful but if a potential customer clicks onto your site and has to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load it has been shown that they will hit the back button and go to your competition. Luckily, there are easy and free to use webpage analysis services such as

Google Pagespeed Insights that can help you to pinpoint where any potential problems might be with your website when loading on both desktop and mobile devices and give you lots of advice on how to fix them.

Part of Google Pagespeed Tools, Google Pagespeed Insights is an open source model that is constantly being updated and improved. All you need to do is add the website address to the search bar and Pagespeed Insights will ping it a couple of times to analyse it for everything from image optimization to render blocking JavaScript. Google Pagespeed Insights gives it a mark out of 100 and you really need to aim for at least over 85 for a fully optimized website.

This mark lets you see at a glance how quick your website is and how well it is performing and then Pagespeed Insights breaks down all the potential issues into an easy to navigate report with the important problem areas at the top.

Google Pagespeed Insights will give you two separate reports, one for your desktop and one for your mobile website. These two reports are individually tailored to suit the slightly different requirements for each device, as is the advice offered in order to optimize them.

Major problems are highlighted with a red exclamation mark; important but not so major ones that you should ‘consider’ fixing are highlighted in orange and you get a satisfying green tick for the non-problem areas. Clicking on the ‘show how to fix’ link opens up a drop down with easy to follow instructions on how to resolve the issue and although this site is really designed with the expectation that the user has quite a bit of web design knowledge in web hosting technologies,

HTTP, JavaScript and CSS, Google Pagespeed Insights also provides links to other more in-depth help pages if you need them, so anyone can follow their recommendations with a little bit of time and patience.

Because this is a free to use site with no registration forms to fill out or accounts to set up you can then test your website with it as often as you like after making the suggested amendments and see how much improvement you have made to the overall page speed, although you do have to give it 30 seconds or so to update itself before you run the scan again.

It is worth noting that Google Pagespeed Insights does take into account the fact that load speed will greatly depend on the end users network connection so they do only measure independent elements of your website and individual page performance – things like JavaScript, CSS, HTML and the server configuration.

Website development is a complex thing and Pagespeed Insights are clearly biased towards the speed element.

While it is an important element that should not be ignored some of the fixes that are recommended might not be useful to your individual website and will take some effort to put into place. It is up to you to consider its uses and decide whether the cost of making those changes is worth it for your business. It is just advice, not a demand.

gtmetrix

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