Website Page Speed and Optimisation (article)

Susana Moleón Moya
Susana Moleón Moya
  • Updated

Testing & Diagnostics

You can use the following Google tool for web speed diagnostics

https://pagespeed.web.dev/

Benchmark

As a benchmark, here are some screenshots of Gray Line Austin's website (92% score on mobile, 97% score on desktop). This page is probably the lightest one of the Gray Line licensee sites we know of - no 3rd party plugins, no facebook pixel, no tracking, no extra video / images / footer modifications etc. Purely the template as we've designed it, a light fast homepage with no extra weight added.

Screenshot_2021-11-23_at_09.08.25.png

Screenshot_2021-11-23_at_09.08.30.png

Homepage

When it comes to the homepage, this is often how a user accesses you site, and it is important it loads fast. Page speed scores are directly impacted by how much you load into the page, both visible content (images, video, extra blocks, 3rd party content), and invisible (tracking software, Facebook Pixel, Tripadvisor JavaScript customer insights scripts etc). It is worthwhile keeping this page as light as possible. What are your CTAs (call to actions)? Do you have too many? What is a realistic user flow? Could you remove most of the content, and just highlight a few pathways only, and change this on an as-needed basis to highlight other flows? What could be moved to another page without harming conversion? What could be changed from heavy (e.g. image) to light (e.g. text only link)? Can you remove Facebook pixel, FreshChat, GTM etc? Every single item you can take off the homepage and move somewhere else will make it lighter and thus faster. It's a cost-benefit analysis for you to make in the end, however.

Caching

You may have happened to run diagnostics either after a manual cache clear or an automatic cache clear of the website. In this case, your site speed will be significantly lower. It is good to visit the pages you want to speed test prior to testing to make sure the cache has been rebuilt.

Gray Line Licensees Clear Cache

Speed Improvements

Often a major issue is the improper sizing of images. If Google recommends properly sizing the extra images you've added to the page, please see this article for help

Image Optimisation & Page Speed

CloudFlare can offer extra speed gains

CloudFlare Configuration

Final Thoughts

It is possible to have a fast, light website. What will you sacrifice in terms of your page speed, for content / analysis / 3rd party functionality gain?