How to Get a Perfect Google PageSpeed Insights Score
The front-end performance of your website determines its Google PageSpeed Insights score. This score, which falls between 0 and 100, indicates how well your website is performing and also provides optimization suggestions.
Typically, a Google PageSpeed Insights score of 85 or above indicates that the website is performing well. Top-performing websites that have plenty of website hosting normally score in the above 90 range. It requires a lot of work to achieve those high scores, and even the top websites only manage to achieve scores of 90 or 91.
It is, however, not impossible to score a perfect 100. But how to achieve a perfect Google PageSpeed Insights score? You must be able to strike the right balance between a high score and the user experience, which can be a tricky affair. But you must note that every website is different. There is no single formula to follow to score a perfect 100. It requires a lot of work and experimenting to figure out what works best for a particular website. So, follow the steps, and find out the best approach that will give your website that perfect score.
Listed here are the steps you must take to get a perfect Google PageSpeed Insights score:
1. Use a Domain Name System (DNS)
Use a DNS service to host the domain name of your website. You can use tools like Cloudfare, especially if you are on a shared hosting environment. Note that if you are using Cloudfare along with its speed optimization, it might not give you very good results. However, there are other hosting providers you can use such as Presslabs, WP-Engine, and Pantheon.io.
2. Pass the Server Response Time
The second step is to pass the Server Response Time benchmark by Google. If your website scores anywhere above 0.2 seconds, Google marks you down. If your website has a lot of services running, you should consider turning the unnecessary ones off. If this does not make much of a difference, try switching to PHP 7. But PHP 7 is, unfortunately, not supported by all hosts. But it will ensure a significant increase in speed.
Now that you have also identified the non-critical elements of the files, enable defer or asynchronous loading for them. This will ensure that your website does not face any render-blocking issues.
4. Ensure Image Optimization
One of the most important factors that affect your Google PageSpeed Insights score is image optimization on your website. This is a very common issue faced by websites, and there are several ways to deal with it.
If you are using PHP to improve server response time, you can use the PHP inbuilt library ImageMagick. Alternatively, you can use third-party APIs like Tinypng and ShortPixel. If Google recommends, you can also install server add-ons to optimize images.
Minification of your JS and CSS files helps a lot to boost your Google PageSpeed Insights score. However, using the readily available plugins like Autoptimize will render your website unusable even if it boosts your score. Instead, you should use Better WordPress Minify that gives you a larger control over your JS and CSS files. It may take a longer time as you have to apply changes to all your JS and CSS files individually, but it will ensure a smooth running website along with bringing you closer to a perfect Google PageSpeed Insights score.
6. Minimize the Use of Plugins
Do not be that person who adds plugins to their website as if their life depended on it! The more plugins your website has, the slower it will be. Remove the unused plugins. Stop installing master plugins unnecessarily, and instead use custom coding. Simplify and use tweaks to eliminate plugins that make your website slow.
7. Use Compression
Enable compression on the server of your website. Instead of using another plugin, make changes to your .htaccess file. After enabling compression, you will notice that many elements in your .htaccess file will get cached. If you look at the new code, you will realize compression deflates all the render files. Ensure that your UI for mobile does not have redundant images as it typically slows down page speed.
As already mentioned, there is no fixed formula to perfect your Google PageSpeed Insights score. But these steps will show you the way and help you in achieving a near-perfect website. Of course, you have to change some things, mix a few bits around, carry out some testing, and with some trial and error, you will reach your goal.
Not just for SEO, achieving a high Google PageSpeed Insights score is also important to boost the usage of your websites on mobile devices.