You may have one of the best websites in the world, with all bells and whistles, but if the pages load like a sloth on crack, you’ll have a hard time growing its traffic and pagespeed score. Nothing screams “amateur” more than a slow-loading website.
First, it’s with the visitors who don’t have the patience to wait more than a few seconds for a page to load. If a page fails to load fully in three seconds or less, more than half of your visitors will jump ship (this is not an exaggeration).
A slow website will:
- Rank lower on Google
- Have a lower conversion rate
- Have fewer returning visitors
- Deliver a less-than-ideal user experience
- Generate lower customer loyalty
- Generate less revenue
Turning your back on page speed optimization in 2023 can be compared to driving your business off a cliff. You’re set to crash and burn, no matter how much traffic your website gets.
Worse, Google confirmed Page speed as one of their ranking factors, so if you don’t get your website speed up to par, you’re missing out on a lot of organic traffic.
We suggest you keep reading because we will show you how to get the coveted 100/100 Pagespeed score on Google — on mobile and desktop.
It’s time to get your website running like a well-oiled machine.
How to Achieve the Perfect 100/100 Page Speed Score
You can start by running your site through PageSpeed Insights. Google offers this tool for free to anyone looking to gain insight into page speed performance. PageSpeed Insights works similarly to page speed testing tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix.
It scores your page speed on a scale of 0-100 and will also give you tips on improving it.
No logging or registration is required to use this tool. Just enter your website’s URL, and click “Analyze.”
The tool will scan your website, categorize its elements and assign a score to each one of them. It also provides recommendations on how to optimize your page speed.
Here’s an example of a report generated by PageSpeed Insights:
The scores for Desktop and Mobile versions should be near perfect – 95 or higher for both.
Anything below 95 is worrying and must be worked upon.
The report looks clean, simple, and easy to understand. However, some of the suggestions may look intimidating if you’re not the most tech-savvy person.
Here’re a few examples of the jargon-y recommendations in the report:
To get the coveted 100/100 score, you’ll need to optimize your website for each device type. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Step #1: Determine If Your Website is Lagging and Where It’s Lagging
Many CMSs come with built-in tools or plugins that can help you determine if your website is lagging and where it’s lagging. Before you take any action to speed up your site, you need to identify the problem areas.
Here are five free tools you can use to determine if your website is lagging and where it’s lagging:
- GTmetrix: GTmetrix gives insight into how your website loads and helps you optimize it.
- Pingdom: Pingdom is used to measure response time and page load times.
- Website Grader: Website Grader is a free tool that will assess your website and give you an overall performance grade.
- Google’s PageSpeed Insights: PageSpeed Insights helps you identify potential speed issues with your website.
- YSlow: YSlow is a browser extension that analyzes web pages and tells you why they’re slow.
- KeyCDN Website Speed Test: The KeyCDN website speed test will tell you how fast your pages load.
Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool is a great starting point because it will give you both a desktop and mobile performance score. Plus, it has one of the best guides on how to optimize your website for speed.
The other tools are also helpful and can provide additional information on website performance.
Step #2: Compress Your Images
Images are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to page speed. If you’re not careful, your images can quickly become bloated and slow down your site.
There are many different opinions on what size an image should be. But generally speaking, it’s best to keep your images as small as possible, provided you’re not losing image crispness.
Most hosts suggest you keep your images under 200kb.
Shopify recommends 70kbs for your product images and 15kbs for thumbnails.
You can use one of the many free online tools like TinyPNG, squoosh app, or Compress.io to compress your images.
You can also use Photoshop to compress your images manually.
For WordPress users, you can use a plugin like WP Smush, which automatically compresses your images as you upload them. The plugin will also optimize any existing images on your site.
Step #3: Minify Your Code
The result is a smaller file size and faster page load times.
You can manually minify your code or use a tool like Minifier.
There are lots of WordPress plugins that you can use to minify the code for you. WP Super Minify and W3 Total Cache are two popular options.
How Code Minifying Works:
Minifying shrinks your code by removing useless spaces, line breaks, notes, and other characters that are not necessary for the code to run.
It also renames variables and functions so they take up less space.
For example, a variable called “user_name” could be renamed to just “u.”
Step 4: Eliminate Render Blocking Elements
Render-blocking elements are the elements that prevent a page from loading until they’re fully loaded. They include external scripts, large CSS files, and images.
To eliminate render-blocking elements, you can inline the code or defer the elements from loading until after loading the page.
Inlining is when you embed the code directly into your page. That eliminates the need to download an external file, which can speed up page load times.
Deferring is when you tell the browser to wait until after the page has loaded before loading an element. That can also help speed up page load times.
You can use tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom to identify render-blocking elements on your site. Once you’ve identified them, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate them.
Tools like Autoptimize can help you inline and defer elements on your site.
Step 5: Avoid and Minimize Page Redirects
Page redirects occur when you visit a page and then get redirected to another page.
Redirects can be necessary sometimes, but they can also slow down page load times.
That’s because it takes valuable time for the browser to process a redirect command.
To avoid page redirects, make sure you are linking directly to the correct URL.
If you need to use redirects, try minimizing the number of hops between pages.
For example, a 301 redirect is better than a 302 redirect because it only requires one hop.
Step 6: Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of globally distributed servers that serve content to users based on their location.
It stores a browser cache of your website in different servers worldwide, and when someone from a far-off geographical area visits the site, the page will load up from the nearest CDN.
Why do you need this?
It’s because visitors who are far away from your website’s server incur longer load times. For example, if your servers are based in the US, someone from the US will load the website faster than someone from Germany or Australia.
So, instead of having your visitors wait for the content to load from a distant location, they get it served faster from the nearest CDN server.
Using a CDN is one of the best ways to reduce page load times and get your Google Page Speed Score up to 100/100.
If your website runs on a hosted CMS such as HubSpot, Squarespace, or GoDaddy, you probably already have a CDN enabled.
If not, there are plenty of free and paid services that you can use to enable a CDN for your website.
So, how do you enable a CDN for your website?
It’s simple. All you need to do is set up a CDN account and configure it on your website. Most web hosts offer step-by-step instructions on how to do this.
A few CDN providers you can use are Cloudflare, KeyCDN, Amazon CloudFront, AT&T CDN, and MaxCDN.
Once you have a CDN set up, monitor it regularly to ensure it is working correctly and delivering content as expected.
Improve Your Server Response Time
Server response time is the time it takes a server to respond to a request from a browser.
Here’s how the server processes a request:
- The browser sends a request to the server
- The server processes the request and responds with the necessary data
- The data is sent back to the browser.
Ideally, server response time should be less than 200 milliseconds. If it takes longer, there will be some lag in page load times.
Several things, such as an overloaded server or inefficient coding, can slow down a server.
But the biggest culprit ought to be the web hosting company you choose. If you have a shared hosting account, that means you’ll be operating on a crammed server, hence a slow response time.
Circumventing a lagging server can be a bit technical, especially since it’s out of your control. If you have tried all the optimization tips and still cannot get the server response time below 200 milliseconds, it’s best to talk to your website host and see if they can help you.
It would help if you also consider upgrading to a VPS or cloud hosting for better performance and faster response time.
Your Go-to WordPress Speed Stack
WordPress might be the world’s most popular CMS, but it can be notoriously slow.
Luckily, there are plenty of plugins and tools that you can use to speed up your WordPress site.
Here are the essential WordPress speed stack items you can use to get your site running faster:
- A caching plugin — such as WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache
- A minification plugin — such as Autoptimize or Fast Velocity Minify
- An optimization plugin — such as Smush or WP-Optimize
- A content delivery network — such as Cloudflare or KeyCDN
Some Final Wrapping Up – Perfect 100/100 Pagespeed Score on Google
Let’s make it simple:
A one-second delay in load time can reduce pageviews by 11%, lower customer satisfaction by 16%, and decrease conversion rate by 7%.
Amazon can lose about U$1.6 billion in sales with only a 1% decrease in page load speed.
And that’s because site speed is one of Google’s ranking factors. It’s been a ranking factor since 2010, and it’s only getting more critical as time passes.
If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, then you’re in for a world of trouble.
Core Web Vitals Update in May 2021
In May 2021, Google rolled out its Core Web Vitals Update. This update is all about page speed, user experience, and visual stability.
It’s a new set of metrics that Google uses to measure how well your page is performing.
Get your page speed up to scratch to stay competitive in 2023 and beyond.
You need to optimize your website for speed and performance to get the perfect 100/100-page speed score on Google Pagespeed Insights.