My webpage speed test results to optimize page speed

I’ve been performing an occasional webpage speed test on this blog since Google’s announcement about using site speed in web search ranking.

It’s not a high priority, but I want to at least try to stay up to par.

To perform a webpage speed test, I installed Page Speed and YSlow in my Firefox browser (also available for Chrome), I also use Page Speed Online.

The Firefox Page Speed delivers the same overall results as the Page Speed Online. YSlow is a different kind of tool that I use less. Because right now, I’m at the limits of my knowledge about webpage speed tests. Let me explain.

The reports to speed up load time of this site showed quite some improvements at the beginning. I can understand optimizing my graphics (in fact, Page Speed offers you to download these optimized graphics and upload them to your server). Easy.

I also managed to solve problems like
– Minify CSS,
– Enable compression,
– Leverage browser caching,
– Minify HTML and
– Optimize the order of styles and scripts.

But things like
– Defer parsing of JavaScript,
– Specify a cache validator,
– Remove query strings from static resources and
– Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header
are much harder for me to solve.

I don’t know how to cache graphics and js files from other sites, like the ads I’m displaying and the javascript that comes with the snippets to show them. Or other javascript files that I need for my site, like those from Google Analytics.

There’s a lot of general information available on the links mentioned above, but I really would like simple and easy step-by-step instructions on how to implement different optimization methods.

Nevertheless, an online webpage speed test for Affordable Internet Marketing results in a score of 93.

webpage speed test results

I achieved that thanks to the use of a great plugin called W3 Total Cache.
It allowed me to learn a lot about tecnical matters to speed up the loading of web pages. I took little steps to develop my experience with these matters.
Also, this plugin creates an .htaccess file, to be stored in your blog folder, that sets caching conditions to leverage browser caching and enable compression.

Unfortunately, this plugin is so advanced that it exceeds my technical knowledge and it resulted in many 404’s, even in my back office. So I deleted the plugin, not because it’s bad, but it’s too technical for me.

Nevertheless, I kept parts of the .htaccess file that it gereated and together with a new Cache plugin it works fine and results in a webpage speed test score of 93.

Here’s what I have in my htaccess file right now (yes, I know, there’s a way to shorten this code, but I like it the way it is 🙂 ).
Mind you, if you’re going to apply anything from this file, remember to save your old file so you can put it back in case anything goes wrong!

YSlow finds even more things to optimize, but many of them, too, are beyond my knowledge. I use that one as the next step in my tech experience.

The small optimization step I’m working at right now is creating sprites (combines multiple background images into a single image) using a great site called Sprite Me. My first attempt failed miserably, but I’m ready to try again.

So, that’s how I use a webpage speed test to decrease the load time of my pages.
If you have any comments, additions, resources or remarks, post them below.

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6 thoughts on “My webpage speed test results to optimize page speed

  1. Andreas says:

    The website speed as ranking factor is getting more and more important but currently it just acts as a tiebreaker when two or more sites rank similarly according to google.

  2. Earnist says:

    I actually do believe the speed factor gets more and more important too. I don’t think its one of the more relevant factors in the google algorithm, but i think its actually way more important for the common user and to keep your bounce rate down.

  3. Tech84 says:

    If you are using the wordpress platform, you can install this plugin called, wordpress super cache. Its a very good caching plugin that helps your website load much faster. It also greatly helps cut down system usage especially if you are on shared hosting.

  4. Bob says:

    The Google page speed criteria drives me a bit crazy. When I run the speed test on my site it takes from 1 to 3 seconds to load up. When I look in my Google webmaster tools, Google says that my webpages take an average of 12 seconds to load. Not sure how to remedy it, but I have to guess that this is affecting my search ranking.

    • Case Stevens says:

      First of, don’t let these speed criteria upset you.
      Just try to fix them as good as you can. Take the warnings shown in the test results and try to solve/improve these points one after one.
      Take your time to try and understand what’s wrong or what can be improved. You’ll learn on the way.

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