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Google PageSpeed Insights

Someone has told me that my website is slow! #

Beware of all unsolicited SEO and web development offers that you receive through your contact form. They typically promote fear and doubt to try and gain your business.

We have written this article specifically to address this scenario.

Google PageSpeed Insights says my website is slow! #

PageSpeed is useful for web developers to assess and tune our code, our server configuration, and our hardware. It is not a useful tool to measure the real-world speed of your website. Importantly, it is also not an SEO tool.

The examples at the end of this article demonstrate how very low PageSpeed scores can be given to very fast websites.

In fact, PageSpeed rates our website framework very highly at 90-95 out of 100 #

Note – The following tests apply to our legacy CMS. The new WordPress WonderWebs is similar.

At WonderWebs we have gone to great lengths to ensure that our servers and code are optimised for performance, functionality, and cost. All of our websites are built using our own standardised code and template.

Our basic Terms page contains text, logo, and standard scripts and styles:

PageSpeed gives it:

Mobile 90 – Desktop 95

Click to view screenshots of these reports:

Adding content to a website reduces these scores. #

These excellent scores will reduce as more content, images and plugins are added to your website.

Scores can go as low as single digits when we have banners, testimonials, videos, client logos, sharing icons, animations and more on the page.

Does a low score matter? #

No. In our tests, website pages are always quicker than PageSpeed says they are, often by seconds.

We will not publish a website that does not perform well. We also will not use PageSpeed to determine the amount and type of content published on your website. We compress and resize images and videos as we see fit, and we publish what we think is a good and appropriate content for your customers. But ultimately, your content is your choice.

But someone tells me that every tiny fraction of a second costs me hundreds of customers! #

This is simply not true.

So, how fast is my site really? #

You should judge the speed of your website using your own computer and phone. Confirm that pages load in a matter of moments. Refresh several times over a period. Does it seem relatively quick? Get in touch if it doesn’t.

Sometimes your site will be slower. #

Website performance will temporarily degrade when:

  • The server or website software is being upgraded.
  • A plugin is doing something big such as searching 10,000 products.
  • The server is recycling itself due to pre-set triggers.
  • Any network connectivity issue between you and the server.
  • When a page has not been visited for some time is removed from cache.

How can my site be faster anyway? #

  • We can examine your website, revise and/or remove content.
  • We can spend a great deal of additional money on specialist hardware, systems and staff.

Measure your website’s true speed. #

The obtain a real-world measure for comparing pages, you can use the developer tools that are built-in to your web browser. Press F12 to open the tools, go to the Network tab, then refresh your website and observe the time values at the bottom of the tools window.

You should see values between 0.5 and 3 seconds, depending on the content. Be aware that the count on your homepage will increase every few seconds as sequential images or testimonials are retrieved.

The Terms page is always quick as it is only text plus your brand graphics. Other pages with more complex plugins will take longer. If you have 20 banner images, the load time may become unreasonably long. Certain complex pages such as the WonderWebs Store load very quickly due to special caching configuration.

Note that even large pages are fully usable before they are completely loaded. This is what determines the apparent or perceived speed of a website.

Corporate websites often have low scores but fast performance. #

Many, if not most large and successful businesses have low or average website scores. These three examples were the top Google results upon searching for an appliance. They demonstrate that low PageSpeed scores do not relate to real-world website performance.
Mobile 24 – Desktop 66
Low scores, fast website.
Mobile 8 – Desktop 53
Very low scores, fast website.
Mobile 7 – Desktop 55
Very low scores, fast website.

Google produces plenty of articles by others on the same topic #

Updated on 5 December 2023

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