Optimizing Website Performance and User Experience – Unveiling the Hidden Dynamics of Google PageSpeed. The Secrets of Website Optimization: Discover the Surprising Impact of Perfect Scores, Size Paradox, and Unforeseen Challenges.
Today I want to write to you and demonstrate you that achieving a perfect score in Google PageSpeed (100/100) on both mobile and desktop can be harmful if you “over-optimize.” We optimize a website, whether it’s a WordPress blog or not, to load very quickly, not to achieve high scores in performance tests.
Ciprian commented on my blog, on an older article where I mentioned obtaining a perfect score in Google PageSpeed (100/100), an important tool from the American search engine, which helps with website optimization.
He wrote to me saying that he also achieved a 100/100 score in Google PageSpeed and recommended some things for me to do. I smiled and decided to write this article, conducting some website loading tests so that it wouldn’t be just empty words.
Honestly, I appreciate people eager to learn in this field because I am one of them. In my country, there are very few well-optimized websites, not just blogs but also other types of sites. And it’s not just in our country, but in other places as well. Some people don’t know or don’t want to learn, or they are not passionate about it, even though they should be. They don’t even want to pay experts in the field to have a fast website.
A fast website, on any device, whether mobile or desktop, shows respect for your readers. Not for tests or for a higher position in Google. But for those who visit it.
Two things regarding Google PageSpeed and optimizing a WordPress blog for fast loading:
- Google PageSpeed 100/100 can be harmful if you “over-optimize.”
From my own experience, a perfect score in Google PageSpeed can be harmful. I will show you this in the video below.
We don’t optimize to achieve a perfect score in Google; we optimize a website for fast loading and better User Experience.
Certain optimizations, especially when done mechanically, drag your website down. If you let go of some of them, resulting in a lower score in Google PageSpeed, your blog will load faster.
That’s why you have to work with a scalpel when optimizing a website: optimize something, test it, optimize again, test again. You don’t do everything at once and then boast about your maximum score. If a website with a maximum score loads worse than without certain “optimizations,” you start removing them. You work delicately until you achieve the best loading times.
These things take time, even days because two websites are not the same, even when they are hosted on the same server, have the same WordPress theme, and similar optimizations. They will obtain different values in loading tests.
That’s why I don’t like those people on freelancing websites who ask for two dollars for delicate work that costs tens or hundreds of dollars and which they don’t do properly, thereby lowering prices.
You can see below, in my tests, how Google’s tool parses my blogs faster than Ciprian’s, indicating that he has things blocking the correct analysis of his website.
- Sometimes, a larger website can load faster than a smaller website, depending on its content, defying logic.
We’re discussing fine details here. If one website has a 150 kB index (homepage), and another website has 500 kB, the latter can load faster than the former, even if both are highly optimized. This is not exactly logical. Additionally, it should be noted that a blog should not have an index larger than half a megabyte. If it can be smaller, even better. Fewer requests and a smaller page are ideal.
It happens that websites with more kilobytes can load faster because certain larger elements, such as images (all compressed), are loaded at a faster speed than smaller images. Think about copying many small files onto a storage space (HDD or SSD) and then a larger file. Invariably, smaller and more numerous files will be written more slowly, with a slower speed, than a single file or larger items. That’s why a site with ten larger images on the index can load faster, in some cases, than a site with ten smaller images.
Returning to the test conducted for Ciprian, to avoid any false impressions and to motivate him to learn more, I compared both my blog and “serialecoreene.ro,” which I moved here and set up a redirect (+FollowSymLinks) to Cik, with his website.
Here are the scores obtained on Google PageSpeed for these three websites:
Cik: 91/100 mobile, 99/100 desktop.
Serialecoreene.ro: 100/100 mobile, 100/100 desktop. Look, I also have a blog with 100/100 on Google PageSpeed. 🙂
Ciprian’s website: 100/100 mobile, 100/100 desktop.
All websites are hosted in Bucharest, with a response time of 1ms, so the conditions are similar.
Furthermore, I am on shared hosting, a good shared hosting, admittedly, but with its limitations. I haven’t gone “dedicated” to make things even faster because it’s not necessary for my traffic.
I tested them both on Google PageSpeed and Pingdom Tools (twice, to take them from cache), as well as on GTmetrix. After that, I activated Cloudflare to show you the extreme performance on a global scale, from cache, for Cik.
Cik loaded precisely 277 milliseconds faster, from cache, than Ciprian’s website on the test from Stockholm (492ms vs. 769ms), and half a second faster on the GTmetrix test from Canada. I performed the test on foreign sites because that’s where the difference is most noticeable. Additionally, you can indeed have visitors from abroad, so their loading speed matters too.
When I enabled Cloudflare, Cik flew from cache at an astonishing 163ms on the test from Sweden. That represents extreme performance from anywhere around the globe.
Without much further discussion, I wrote you about the difference between a highly optimized website, like Ciprian’s, and two professionally optimized blogs, like mine: Google PageSpeed 100/100 – Optimizing WordPress blogs – Fast website loading test.
If you want to come to me and impress me with your knowledge in this field, you must have it like Chuck Norris, and I’m not referring to the things you know.
Honestly, have you ever seen me giving social media lessons here? I respect those who excel in it and make money from it. I don’t know about it. I don’t write about math, marketing, or economics here either because they tortured me in school, and I don’t want to torture you with things I don’t know.
Or how about if I go to RST and give the skilled guys there programming or Linux lessons, or networking?
Some of them have higher education in the field, expensive Cisco courses, extensive IT experience, top positions in international competitions, and so on. Or about hacking, to the “veteran” hackers there.
Wouldn’t that lack common sense on my part?
When it comes to making your website very fast, not just loading quickly but also being able to brag about it to your friends, I know the ropes.
What I don’t know, I learn because IT is a dynamic field, and you can’t claim to know everything about it perfectly.
Now that we’ve talked about well-optimized websites, let’s discuss a blog that performs very poorly in this regard.
I also click around on friends’ blogs, and I came across a personal website of a girl that I couldn’t load.
Not this girl’s blog, though. When I analyzed it with Pingdom, I was astonished: a homepage of 4.5 MB, larger than even our big websites with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per day and 101 Dalmatians, I mean requests, including errors.
I looked at it, shook my head disapprovingly, and moved on.
What are your experiences with website optimization and achieving high scores in tools like Google PageSpeed? Have you encountered any unexpected challenges or surprising results? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!