If you didn’t know already then you will today – the loading speed of your web pages have an effect of the performance of your site, and thus can affect your search engine placement!
Google Page Speed is a great new tool for web developers that allow us to analyse our web pages to see how we can optimize the pages for best site performance.
Google Page Speed
I thought I would share some of my experience with the new tool with you. You can get started by using the following link:
Once we are there we just want to click on “analysis” and then click onto “insights”. This tool is really easy to use as all I need to do now is key in the URL that I want to check and press “analyze”.
After waiting a few moments you will see the progress bar complete and then there will be two tabs appear:
Mobile – this will give you a score out of a hundred for the mobile version of your website.
Desktop – a score out of hundred for your standard website.
When you look at the analysis you will see that it has come up with a list of suggestions for me to review:
1. Leverage browser caching
2. Enable compression
3. Eliminate Render Blocking Java-script and CSS
4. Reduce Server response time
5. Optimize images
Leverage Browser Caching
So if I click on “Leverage browser caching” then a drop down menu appears telling me the errors that I have.
I can there is quite a list for my website so I need to now find out how I can solve this problem. Luckily Google makes it easy for me. If I click on the next “Leverage Browser Cache” it sends me to a nice help page
From here I have determined that I need to add code to my .htaccess file that will set an expiry date or a maximum age in the HTTP headers for static resources; this instructs the browser to load previously downloaded files from the local disc, rather than over the network. This increase web performance.
The simple code that I end up adding to my .htaccess file is as follows:
ExpiresDefault “access plus 4 weeks”
I can change the “4 weeks” to a value that suits.
First step is done. Just quickly I will go onto the second step – Enabling compression.
If I click on Enable Compression then another nice drop down menu appears. It again shows me the error of my ways and gives me a link to now click on again “Enable Compression”. This sends me to another help page that is going to show me the way.
Google is fantastic when it comes to providing help and support for tools like this.
I know I am using an Apache server so it is clear to me where I click.
The next page shows me some nice examples of code that I want to use, again, in my .htaccess file.
If only everything was as simple as this.
I end up adding the following code to me .htaccess file:
Testing my Google Page Speed
So, I want to see how things are improving with the work that I have done. I need to first upload my new .htaccess file ensuring that I have backed up my old version first; that goes without saying.
I ran the .htaccess code through a nice tool first at http://www.htaccesscheck.com and it checks out – so I am ok to upload the file.
Once I upload my new .htaccess file I am now going to run the analyzer once again and see what score we come up with.
As you can see from the image on the right, my Desktop score has increased from 69 to 84 just by doing those two steps. Not bad eh?
So for me, the next steps will be to look at Eliminating Render Blocking and then also optimizing my images. It seems the main images with problems are those coming from my WordPress theme as I am pretty careful with the images I upload to WordPress.
I have no hope of doing much with my server response time, other than changing servers and that is not something I plan to do any time soon.
If you are having any issues with Page Speed on your site then I would like to hear about how you solved the issues. If you know you have a problem with Page Speed but don’t know what to do about it then you can contact us at Island Media Management; we will be able to help you.
If you like this blog post, then you may like this one: 6 Ways to Reduce your Bounce Rate.