Even kids know that faster sites converts well and creates an enjoyable user experience.
You may have superb content on your blog or great products on your ecommerce site but at the end of the day, most users will abandon your site and go elsewhere if your site takes 15 seconds to load.
Google has been excessively obsessing about speed these days. They launched a new image format, added page speed integration in Google Webmaster tools and introduced an online tool to measure the loading time of any webpage for desktop and mobile browsers. These tools were made to help webmasters fix technical issues on their sites, so that they can improve the glitches on their own and make their sites faster.
Looks like that wasn’t enough, as Google has just introduced a new tool called Google Page Speed Service which will rewrite your site’s code and apply performance tweaks to make it faster.
How Google’s Page Speed Service Speeds Up Your Site
Here is how it works.
You sign up for a Page speed account and point your site’s DNS entry to Google. Google’s Page speed service will fetch your page on their servers and rewrite them by applying web performance best practices. Once the remote copy of your page is ready, it will be served to end users who request your page from their browser.
Basically Google Page speed service acts as a content delivery network for websites which analyzes your code, fixes performance issues and serves the optimized copy to your users and customers. You don’t have to worry about browser caching, CSS compression and other technical stuff, Google Page speed will handle everything for you. Since Google’s servers are located all around the globe, and are typically extremely fast and reliable, this will increase both performance and availability of your website.
The best thing here is that these optimizations will be carried out in the background, so this will help those webmasters who don’t have enough technical knowledge of web development.
The only catch here is that unlike majority of Google products and services, Google Page speed is not free and users will have to pay a fee to use it. At this time, Page Speed Service is being offered to a limited set of webmasters free of charge (request an invite here).
Additionally, you may want to compare the loading time difference before and after the optimization tweaks at webpagetext.org/compare.
Google Page Speed in No Magic. If Your Code Is Bad, Your Site Will Still be Slow
Some webmasters who don’t have the knowledge of web development have this concept that using the best products, plugins and services should automatically make their site faster. I am sorry but this isn’t entirely true.
Here is an example.
Last week, I was talking with one of my friends who had issues with his site’s loading time. His site was hosted on a virtual private server, he was using caching plugins but still his site was very slow. I had a look at his WordPress theme and found the following problems:
1. A lot of scripts and Jquery files were called from the head section of the template. These Jquery files were required by a carousel of posts shown only on the homepage, so there is practically no reason to call those bulky scripts from every other page of the site.
2. A lot of the PHP codes used in the theme could be easily converted into static HTML. There is no point in using a PHP query to fetch the URL of your site’s homepage. Why use an extra query when you can just replace it with static HTML?
3. Internal CSS is so 1999. I mean, why would anyone use a div style element and hog down each and every page?
4. Using a social bookmarking plugin does not ensure better speed in any sense. It’s exactly the opposite. Why? Because these plugins would fetch the same code which you could have embedded right into the template yourself. Why use an extra plugin?
5. The way your content management system and servers are setup play a huge role on how your site responds to end users. If you don’t know the codes yourself, you can’t optimize it. Hence, your site will end up having a good amount of junk codes which are not required at all.
The short answer is: you have to work on the code first, optimize it and reduce the overall response time of your site. Using any CDN will help only 10%, the rest 90% depends how your site is built and coded.
Do read: Techie buzz server architecture.