Page Speed

Joen: I’ve heard from a lot of SEO’s that the PageSpeed score doesn’t really matter. Regardless I have spent way too much time trying to get the perfect score, but it seems like an impossible task as even the basic og basic WP plugins can ruin it.

Constantin: I rarely aim for 100/100. Easiest option is to just use ngx_pagespeed (for NGINX) or mod_pagepspeed (Apache) on the server side to optimize JavaScript, CSS, images, etc. on-the-fly before it’s being served to clients. This certainly helps improve speed and PageSpeed score for *any* site, not just WordPress. And that without any modifications/plugins whatsoever. I’ll share the ngx_pagespeed configs I use as a starting point. They’re meant to optimize as much as possible while maintaining a low risk level. Here you go. I usually use my own hosting setup which includes PHP 7 with OPcache, ngx_pagespeed, HTTP/2 and auto-updating Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. HTTP/2 supports multiplexing, which increases performance quite a bit. As far as WordPress plugins go I use a combo of Autoptimize, Cache Enabler and Redis Object Cache of course with Redis running on the server. Oh, and TinyPNG’s “Compress JPEG & PNG images” (Kraken and Shortpixel plugins are good too) to compress images. However, most of these things are already handled by ngx_pagespeed anyway.

Marko: More often than not, chasing perfect pagespeed score is characterised by massive amounts of diminishing marginal utility so I don’t really worry about it, as long as the speed is acceptable (but this may vary from site to site) . Also, for a lot of sites, this is nothing more than a pipe dream, especially if they are heavy on design. Add in the fact that Google’s pagespeed score is heavily flawed, and you got yourself something that can be and is useful, but far too many people overtweak their score, instead of focusing on other, more important issues.

Gyorgy: I did 90+ with a few websites in the past but didn’t notice any major improvement in organic search. If your website is fast enough for the users, it good enough for Google. TTFB and DOM time is more important 100 points in Google’s test. Also with larger sites maxing page speed score has a bad ROI.

Danial: I am obsessed with page speed since 2010 when I learned that it is a ranking factor.

I lost rankings after one of my websites was slow for a few days.

I created an epic guide about WordPress SEO and there is a section about speed –

IMHO 90+ is OK. But one should aim higher. There are many things which affect the speed and are hard to fix yourself.

For example, the PHP version of your host can affect your loading times significantly.

1. Use The Best Hosting you can afford
2. CDN or Cloudflare (premium plan)
3. Resize images to max width before uploading them. Optimize them for web with tools like Optimizilla.
4. Avoid too many requests on one page

Rich: Image Compression, Cache Plugin e.g. W3 Total Cache and enable Browser Caching, Minify CSS, HTML and Javascript and get Decent Hosting.

Dennies:

Here are some actionable tips to improve your page speed to a decent level;

1. Use a decent host (Siteground, WPX Hosting, Wp Engine etc)

2. Use a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or Wp Rocket

3. Use CloudFlare or any other CDN you prefer

4. Compress images using an external tool. I used ImageOptim (For Mac) for Lossy Compression. This makes a great difference in the page speed score.

5. Resize the images into their exact sizes (using external tools)as per your need. Avoid resizing using HTML/CSS.

6. Parallax pages, wide header images etc will increase the page load time.

7. If you have got a budget, you can hire a developer to optimize the CSS, JS etc.

There is no need to score 100. It won’t be going to help you rank faster. These score metrics can vary a lot for any minor changes you make. So I don’t really give much importance to those scores by external tools.

Try the Lighthouse plugin for Chrome (now integrated as of version 60) – it’s page audit will give you a technical breakdown that’s much more detailed than Google’s pagespeed webpage.

Melestean: I start from NGINX optimization, in many cases it will help improve website speed without setup .htaccess, and I can get up to 60% speed-up just by activating compression, cache and many other modules. I use a book “NGINX High Performance” by Rahul Sharma, like step-by-step guide.
After that, I use software Caesium for jpeg compression. I put .js files at the bottom of the page if it will not cause problems with render of some elements on the page. HTML/CSS and JS minify. Simple look alike vector images I convert to svg, it can save up to 90% weight, and for example, a simple country flag can be 150 kb in jpeg format and 15 kb in svg.
My best score is 92% for joomla web site without https, on https I lose almost 10%.

David Attard: If you’re using such stuff as 3rd party scripts, you can never get a perfect score, unfortunately. Facebook shares, Sumo, or any service which drops JS into your site is going to drag the score down, so unless you get rid of those completely, even with all of the above suggestions, you won’t get a perfect score.

Eric:

I did the largest data study to date on speed vs. ranking and found some new, important info. Found that “time to first byte” is no longer the only factor Google checks. This was done for Neil Patel, but I have all the data and can share other insights from this: http://neilpatel.com/blog/does-speed-impact-rankings/

 

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