Testing WordPress website on Google Pagespeed Insights

It’s complicated, or why Google PageSpeed Insights isn’t everything

The loading speed of your WordPress website is crucial in terms of lead generation and acquiring new clients. People nowadays want things here and now. We’re not joking: your site loads over 5 seconds? Then there’s a 90% chance that people will lose interest and leave.

arrow_downward

The loading speed of your WordPress website is crucial in terms of lead generation and acquiring new clients. People nowadays want things here and now. We’re not joking: your site loads over 5 seconds? Then there’s a 90% chance that people will lose interest and leave. If it takes more than 6 seconds – that chance increases to 106%! High bounce rate means few or nonexistent leads. So better check if your WordPress site is fast enough to make visitors stay. You may want to use Google PageSpeed Insights to do that, but hold on. It’s not as easy as that.

What is Google PageSpeed Insights?

You’re probably familiar with this tool, but we’re still going to say a word or two about it, just in case. Google PageSpeed Insights is a tool to measure your website performance. You type in an URL and get a score along with warnings and recommendations. Some of these are pretty impossible to do, especially if you have zero coding knowledge. You want me to do what with JavaScript? It’s okay. We’ve all been there.

Anyway, did we tell you that your Google PageSpeed Insights score isn’t important? That’s right. It’s more of a beacon in the night of confusing WordPress development.

A lighthouse in the dark

As of November 2018, Google PageSpeed Insights — or PSI — is powered by Lighthouse, one of Google’s open-source tools to measure website performance. The problem was, using different tools to measure it meant possible contrasting outcomes. To ensure that users will get the same results each time, Google decided to power PSI with Lighthouse. As a result, performance metrics changed, in some cases drastically, and Google PageSpeed no longer measures page speed. What?

A lighthouse in the dark

What’s Google PageSpeed Insights good for?

We did suggest it already with a terrible pun, but the bottom line is, treat your PSI score as one of your guides. Although it’s not omnipotent, it can give you some vital information and useful pointers. Maybe your images are not optimized, or there are other issues that impact your WordPress website’s performance.

Google PageSpeed Insights alternatives

Many people, including us, really like to measure page speed with the Pingdom tool. Hell, website builder giants like Squarespace or Wix prefer Pingdom or their own tools over PageSpeed Insights. So why shouldn’t you?

There are other website speed measurement tools, such as Gtmetrix or Web Page Test. These guys let you test your WordPress website’s performance from several different servers, unlike PSI. For even more alternatives to Google’s tool, search for “page speed test” or “page performance tool”.

So, should you use Google PageSpeed Insights to measure your WordPress website performance? Sure! Although it’s not an answer to all your questions, it can provide you with useful feedback. Some recommendations you can implement yourself, others may need a more expert hand. We’re happy to help.

Krzysztof Garbowski
Krzysztof Garbowski
web developer

football fan, mountain hiking lover, code addict

Tired of unreliable freelancers?

Hire a whitelabel agency that puts emphasis on quality and timeliness.