An Introduction to Page Speed

All of my sites including SwimUniversity.com and BrewCabin.com rely heavily on search engine traffic. And one of the bigger ranking factors that Google uses for its search index is page speed.

Of course, there are other factors, but this is what I consider my competitive advantage. Most larger content and e-commerce sites that I compete with usually don’t focus on speed. They have advertisers and partners to worry about. Plus, getting things done in larger companies takes a long time. Because I’m smaller and more agile, I can dominate page speed and blow my competitors away. This allows me to rank for things that seem impossible.

And, specifically on SwimUniversity.com, 75% of my visitors are on a mobile device. I make the assumption that they’re out by their pool or hot tub away from their wireless network. So my website needs to load lightning fast on cell service.

Course Overview

  1. First, I’m gonna talk about why page speed matters and some basic terminology.
  2. Before we start making improvements to your website, we're going to talk about the ideal website set up like hosting, CDNs, themes and plugins.
  3. I’ll include both free and paid ways to accomplish all the page speed tasks in this course. If you find better solutions, please leave a comment and share with other students.
  4. Things are always changing and improvements will be made to this course.
  5. If you have any questions or suggestions, please add a comment below the right lesson.

Why Page Speed Matters

  1. SEO: Search engines (like Google) rank websites with fast-loading times higher than the slow-loading ones. In 2010, Google announced that page speed would be included as one of the ranking factors for their search index. In 2017, Google announced they will give page speed even more consideration, incorporating mobile site speed to rank sites on its “mobile-first” pages, or pages that individualize rankings for mobile sites.
  2. Retention: Studies have shown that site-loading speed of more than 2 seconds usually results in about 47 percent of visitors bouncing off the website. Per a recent Kissmetrics infographic, if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, over a quarter of users will click away. Mobile users expect speed, too. In the same survey, 73% of users reported visiting a website that loaded too slow.
  3. ECommerce: Online buyers are the most impatient lot; they expect the page to load within a second. According to a study conducted by Amazon, a difference of just 100ms — a unit of time that a human can’t even perceive, was enough to reduce their sales by 1%. Walmart found similar results.

Warnings

  1. There's a lot of technical information in this course. If you need help, hire a web developer. It'll save you the headache. Just give them access to this course.
  2. Whenever you're coding, I recommend you do this on a staging environment before pushing live. You want to make sure things are working and tested before visitors see your changes.
  3. Don't fret too much about shaving off a few seconds or getting a perfect score. If you're under 2 seconds of total load time, you're doing better than most of the websites out there.

Please Leave a Comment

  • If you have questions or confused by anything in this lesson, please leave a comment.
  • I will answer comments personally and use them to improve both the text and the videos in this course.

PageSpeed for Bloggers

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