PageSpeed insights

Website Themes Matter

As of February 2021, 40% of the websites are powered by WordPress.
A WordPress website theme combines PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

HTML & CSS

If a theme overcomplicates HTML, it can have a negative impact on website performance. A fast lightweight theme should have CSS written as clean and minimal as possible.​

High Google PageSpeed Insights scores

JavaScript

A fast lightweight WordPress theme uses vanilla JavaScript (JS) and very minimal JS. Themes that use jQuery load more slowly because they load JS along with the entire jQuery library.

PHP

A fast lightweight WordPress theme uses minimal PHP because the more PHP is initiated on every page load, the slower your site will be. PHP queries your content and outputs your website.

As a result, it is important to know what theme to start with when building your website. All themes get heavier as you add content to your site, but you can control how lightweight your theme is. You should choose a theme that has a high PageSpeed Insights score from the get-go.

What Is PageSpeed Insights?

Google PageSpeed Insights is a tool used for testing website performance.
A score out of 100 as a weighted average of the below metrics

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First Contentful Paint

15%

Speed Index​

15%

Largest Contentful Paint

25% as a Core Web Vital

Time to Interactive

15%

Total Blocking Time

25% correlated with First Input Delay

Cumulative Layout Shift

5% as a Core Web Vital

On November 10 2020, Google announced Core Web Vitals would become ranking signals in May 2021.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) are Core Web Vitals for optimizing user experience.

Total Blocking Time (TBT) correlates well with First Input Delay (FID) which is another Core Web Vital.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Website Content Matters.

An HTTP request is a request the user’s browser makes to download a web page from the web server. A web page may have CSS, JavaScript, images, fonts, media, etc. Each request slows down your website. It is imperative to keep these HTTP requests to a minimum in terms of quantity and file size.

“Keep request counts low and transfer sizes small – 9 requests & 246 KiB” shows the below HTTP request results.

Resource TypeRequestsTransfer Size
Total9245.7 KiB
Image3199 KiB
Stylesheet224.8 KiB
Document19.9 KiB
Script28.4 KiB
Font13.6 KiB
Media00 KiB
Other00 KiB
Third-party00 KiB

Website Content Matters.

The stylesheet and JavaScript for the home page are only 24.8 KiB and 8.4 KiB respectively. These four requests include two scripts and styles WordPress loads namely style.min.css (block editor) and wp-embed.min.js (embeds). The images weigh 199 KiB having 81% of the total size and have made three requests. As you add more content like images, media, features, and elements, your website will grow. Therefore, it is imperative to control what content you will put on your website.

Ask yourself the below questions before putting any content on your website.

  1. How many pieces of content will you add?
  2. What is the size of each piece of content?
  3. Does the UI/UX of the content outweigh page speed?
  4. Are there alternatives to the proposed UI/UX in order not to sacrifice page speed?

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Google PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights FAQ

A fast lightweight website is important for better SEO and Google Search rankings.
It improves your website’s user experience, bounce rate, and conversion rate.

Why is my performance score different?

Here is a caveat when testing the site. Your performance score may vary because of A/B tests or changes in ads being served, internet traffic routing changes, testing on different devices like high-performance desktops or low-performance laptops, browser extensions that inject JavaScript and add/modify network requests, and antivirus software.

Do I need to Further Optimize my website?

As you add more and more content, your website will inevitably grow bigger and make more HTTP requests. That is why you need to optimize the speed of each page in order to get a high PageSpeed Insights score for each page. We recommend reading the article on ways to speed up your website which contains additional optimization tips.

Why do I need an SEO optimized website?

Writing quality SEO-friendly content takes tons of efforts. If you do not have an SEO optimized website, your efforts will not get the SEO results that you expect. Built in Schema.org structured data and lightning-fast page load time. Its codebase architecture follows best SEO practices. Having an SEO friendly website is critical when designing a website.

Can an eCommerce website load fast?

You can add eCommerce features using WooCommerce to any performance-optimized website. Some features like off-canvas product sidebars, infinite scroll, a dropdown cart, sales bubble styles, etc. may slow down your eCommerce site. That is why it is important to know what content and features to use and further optimize the site.

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