When it comes to the key point that determines the success of a website, the page loading speed must be considered. After all, when readers land on your pages, you only have a short time to attract their attention and have them focused on what you have displayed but not to bounce. As tested, almost 89% of online users expect the less than 3 seconds of page loading speed when they browse a website, and 62% of them are bound to leave if the pages cannot be opened within 4 seconds. Even, the aspect of website speed now has become one of the over 200 signals used by Google for determining the search ranking of your site.
At present, there are a lot of tools you can leverage to test the overall speed and performance of your site. Among them, the Google PageSpeed Insights tool is a great option. In the following, we’d like to introduce what it is and how to improve your website score got from this tool.
General Information of Google PageSpeed Insights Tool
To explain in a simple manner, this is a special monitoring tool offered by Google used to test and monitor the performance of your webpages for both the mobile devices and the desktops. You only need to enter your website URL or the link to a specific page, and then, click the Analyze button. After that, this tool will fetch the entered URL twice. One is for your mobile readers and another is for your desktop readers.
Now, you need to wait a few seconds to check the speed score of your site. Note that the score displayed by this special tool ranges from 0 to 100. Surely, the higher score you can get, the better performance your website has achieved. In addition, if you can get the score of 85 or even above, it means your site is performing in a good manner.
In addition to the final score, this tool also gives you a report that contains some useful suggestions, giving you the right direction of website optimization for the faster speed. Even, each suggestion comes with the priority indicator. The red one means that fixing the issue can have a great impact on your website performance. The yellow one means that you can consider fixing the issue when you have time and energy. The green one means that there are no critical issues found. You just have done a good job.
How to Improve Your Website Score on Google PageSpeed Insights
Frankly speaking, this tool can give you an open eye to figure out how to optimize your site the right way. In addition, your final score is considered by the Google search engine when evaluating your online ranking. Due to this, you need to work hard to improve the website score on Google PageSpeed Insights by following all the suggestions listed on the report.
In the following, we’d like to share the common and the key suggestions offered by this tool, along with the detailed instructions of how to finish them.
Enable the Compression of Your Site
This is one of the most effective ways to make your pages load faster by reducing the number of files and by minimizing the size of files that will be downloaded when your pages are checked and loaded. This can reduce the time needed for sending a large number of bytes through the Internet and can avoid hitting the maximum file downloading limit.
In our personal experience, we start at resizing all of our large images by using some image compression tools. After that, our testing score has been improved to 70/100.
This time, our score is improved to 73/100.
Enable the Browser Caching
Your score can be lower if this tool finds that your server responses do not include the caching headers for some static resources. After all, fetching your website data over the internet all the times can be slow and time-consuming. Especially, if the fetching process needs multiple roundtrips between readers and your server, the rendering of your page contents might be delayed or even blocked.
In this case, we highly recommend the WP Super Cache plugin. To enable the caching function, you only need to enter its settings page and press the checkbox of “Caching On”.
By now, the reported score is 75/100.
Remove the Render-Blocking Items
If your webpages have some blocked script resources, they will be rendered and loaded slowly. In this case, you need to eliminate and remove these render-blocking items for the faster speed and the higher score, especially when your site has some external scripts that have to be fetched before being executed, resulting in a relatively longer time for page loading.
- If these outside scripts are the small ones, you can choose to inline their contents into your HTML documents directly to avoid the latency on network requests.
Surprisingly, this practice does not result in a significant impact on the improvement of our speed score. And our score remains the same.
Optimize the Server Response Speed
In fact, the server response speed simply measures the time needed to load the HTML for rendering your pages from the server machine. There are various reasons if the response speed is slow, such as the slow queries of databases, server memory starvation, CPU starvation, slow routing and many more.
To deal with this issue, the best way is to choose a fast hosting provider who can keep the server response time under 250ms. We personally recommend InMotion Hosting, which keeps the response time to 237ms on average.
In addition, you can optimize this aspect by enabling the CDN service. It is fine if your web host offers this service for free. If not, you can try the CloudFlare CDN.
From its general settings page, you only need to enable the minification function of these resources. If needed, you can also enter some files that you want to exclude from the minification.
This practice improves our score a lot. Now, the final score is up to 87/100.
Avoid Multiple Redirection
Note that each redirection will trigger the HTTP request and response, thus delay the practice of page rendering. In this case, you need to try your best to minimize the redirection for improving the webpage performance. For instance, you can never use more than one URL to redirect people to the same web content within your site.
After finishing all the suggestions listed on the report, we have waited for one week and have tested our sample site again. This time, the PageSpeed tool gives us a 100 score for both mobile and desktop.