Improve page speed score

Easy ways to improve your website page speed score

What is this page speed score all about? Well, about 4 years ago, no one really bothered about neither performance nor User Experience (UX). All the businesses cared about was SEO i.e. getting top rankings for keywords in Google and other search engines.

Fast forwarding, now in 2020, with Google incorporating a lot of updates to its algorithm catering to UX, mobile responsiveness and Performance, almost every website owner (who is aware about latest advancements in last 2 years) cares about page speed score.

In fact the prominence of Google’s page speed score itself increased only in the last 2 years. Before that it was merely used as a performance measurement tool. Google’s inclusion of best practices and technical depth to its page speed score has changed its landscape and importance in recent months. Also with Google’s algorithm giving significant weightage to this score, it has become all the more imperative to have a high page speed score.

You can get your website’s page speed score in this link below:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Page speed score from Hubspot

The obvious question that would arise is, how to increase page speed score.

5 Steps to Improve your page speed score above 90

Here are the 5 steps that is required to get a page speed score of above 90. If you have followed all these best practices you can even score a perfect 100 too.

1. JS and CSS rendering

Obviously your website will have a lot of Javascript and CSS scripts. The best way to optimize is to separate the critical ones from others. These critical ones need to be moved to the top of the rendering list and the non-critical ones can be deferred to a later stage. By doing so, we are blocking all the JS and CSS from rendering and allowing only the critical ones to execute and load.

Also minifying the JS and CSS scripts would reduce the size by a sizeable margin and load the webpages faster. Minifying HTML alongside will assist in the process.

If you are using a WordPress website, try using the below plugin to assist in JS and CSS optimization

This plugin helps to compress and optimize HTML, CSS, and Javascript which would decrease the size and page load time.

2. Image Optimization

Similar to a website having a lot of scripts, a website will also have a lot of graphic elements. Images are the graphic types that are widely used. The following needs to be considered while uploading images.

  1. Image resolution – Do not upload large image dimension when the website window doesn’t need such high resolution
  2. Image size – If an image is beyond a few hundred KBs then it must be re-looked. Large image sizes increase the page size and affect the performance of the page. Hence, images should be compressed (without compromising much on quality) and be uploaded

There are many online image compression tools that are available. If you are looking for an easy option like a plugin or an extension, here is WP Smush plugin that is widely popular. Of course this link is for a WordPress website

Image compression WordPress plugin:

3. Caching

Caching can be done at several levels: Server, Application and Browser. Server cache is more to do  with the server infrastructure set up and configuration and same goes with the application as well. There are some settings that we have to take advantage of within each and every Content management system that we use.

Another type of cache is a Browser cache. This cache can be leveraged in an excellent way to help load the pages. We can load the information in a fast way so that it does not have to refresh and reload all the web page elements upon every visit which would be time taking and cumbersome.

Like the other optimization options discussed above, there are some plugins or modules or extensions (depends on which way you call them) that are available which will help in caching.

An example of a wordpress caching plugin is given below.

This is a widely used plugin in many of the wordpress websites across the globe.

4. Optimizing mobile view

Often website developers tend to overlook the importance of mobile browser view. As we all know there are increasing number of users that are accessing web pages via mobile devices every day. It is vital that mobile browser version should be optimized to get more visibility and a good page speed score. This is where AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) would benefit to optimize mobile page speed score. A detailed article on AMP and its advantages will be posted soon in our blog. So, watch out for that blog piece.

Now, A few tips to optimize content for mobile view:

  1. Optimizing the scroll: Make the content scrollable as much as possible so that users can easily navigate to the bottom of the pages instead of having to click on the menu to access more information
  2. Optimizing images and videos: Videos and images need to be optimized and shrunk to size and fitment in mobile screens in order to improve readability
  3. Say No to long paragraph content: Never have long paragraphs in not just your mobile version but also on the website so that users do not get lost in the midst of consuming an article.

5. Dedicated server and CDN

Having a website hosted on a dedicated server would ensure the resources are allocated to our website without being shared. A dedicated instance will boost the performance of the webpage. If you also have a CDN (Content Delivery Network) installed and configured, it is a huge value add. CDN would deliver the content from the nearest server to the user. This will improve the server response time which is one of the factors to increase your page seed score. Adding a load balancer to your servers to split the traffic during peak times is another recommended option to improve the performance.

For leveraging CDN, load balancer techniques and managing a dedicated server it is recommended to consult with an infrastructure expert for achieving best results.

The above mentioned steps, if followed, will give you best results. Invest your effort in best practices and overall user experience to get the best page speed score. Even while adding more pages in future, adhere to these best standards to retain and improve the score. Remember, higher the score, better the page rankings in Google, Bing, MSN and other search engines.