All website experts tell us that we need to make our sites faster—there’s a need for speed when it comes to page loading times. Additional advice and guidance include using plugins to speed up WordPress sites.
Another piece of advice we’ve all read is to visit Google PageSpeed Insights. There you enter in the URL of your site, hit enter, and wait for a few seconds for the test results. The results are reminiscent of a report card, which even includes a grade at the top of the page. That’s the grade your site has received from the test.
As you glance down the page, you’ll find a bunch of recommendations from Google’s test. The page contains a number of data points, colours and shapes, and warnings. It’s all a tad confusing and overwhelming, even if your site gets a high score of 95.
After addressing some of the issues pointed out in the test results, when you retry the PageSpeed test, again you may find the results don’t seem to make sense. And if you have a WordPress site, then why isn’t the caching plugin addressing these issues?
Well, we have some news that may come as quite a shock: Your Google PageSpeed score doesn’t matter.
You may be reeling, but rest assured you did read that correctly.
Faster Page Loading
We’ve been told time and again that our site’s loading time is an important metric. Another important metric is your site’s perceived performance. Both the loading time and the perceived performance come together as part of the user experience and SEO.
Did you know that Google PageSpeed Insights doesn’t measure your site’s loading time? Let that sink in for a minute! How can that be, when Google wants us to have faster sites? You’d think their test would definitely include this important metric.
Back to the Google PageSpeed test results, even if you receive a perfect grade, it’s doesn’t mean your site is running perfectly with no load time issues. In fact, if you use other speed test sites, it may surprise you if the results are a bit different from the Google speed test.
A Good Grade Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
After the test, if you’d like to improve your site and make it compliant with Google’s site requirements, then you can try to follow all of their recommendations. However, we warn you…expect to feel frazzled in the process. It’s almost impossible to get a perfect grade. And if you do, it really has no meaning. So, why waste the time and effort? It’s just not that important.
Some of Google’s PageSpeed suggestions are sometimes impossible to achieve. In fact, the test may include suggestions that have no sense.
Why Use Google PageSpeed?
At this point, you’re probably thinking that there’s not much use for Google PageSpeed. However, it is useful for some problems. For instance, it can let you know about problems on your site, which can be fixed.
The test is still useful, as long as you don’t depend on this tool alone. It’s best to combine Google PageSpeed with other tools. And of course, it’s always best to improve your site’s loading time, rather than focusing on Google PageSpeed grade.
How to Use PageSpeed
- Use the tool along with others to assess and improve site performance.
- Do read through the recommendations, and then decide if they are doable or not. If the recommendation is impossible, then it’s best to move on.
- Avoid trying to fix the grade reported by PageSpeed. Instead, work on increasing your site’s speed.
Google PageSpeed is not always the best indicator of your site’s speed. The tool is definitely worth using for diagnosing other problems that are fixable. However, if you focus only on improving the grade your site receives from the test, you’ll spend unnecessary time to achieve very little in actual gains. It’s best to use Google PageSpeed combined with other tools in order to have a better understanding of how your site is doing and of any issues that are causing users frustration when visiting the site.