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What on Your Website Affects Your Google PageSpeed Score?

Tips for a Good PageSpeed Score

Google has rolled out their PageSpeed Insights tool, which you can run to test your website. This tool provides a glimpse as to how Google views your website and how it loads/renders on desktop computers as well as mobile devices. You ideally want a 100/100 score on mobile devices, user experience and desktop computers.

What Brings Your Score Down

We've done a lot of Google PageSpeed optimization on projects and websites, so we know which items really bring down your score. To help you, here are a number of items on a website that will negatively affect your PageSpeed score:


You might be using iframes and not really even know it. Do try to avoid using them because when you frame another page within pages on your website, the website visitor has to essentially load 2 websites, which is more connections. You also don't have control over that other server but you're forcing your website visitors to also load that page and it will slow down your website.

Facebook and Twitter Feeds

A Facebook or Twitter feed will pull data from another website and displays it on your website. It'll be a combination of text an images.. These images are stored in cloud storage and they are not images that have been optimized very well. Since those images are on another server, they can't be optimized unless that website decides that they want to optimize all their image. Also Facebook and Twitter feeds use CSS and JavaScript which can't be minified or be cacheable from your website.

There are some good ways to use Facebook and Twitter feeds but using the code they give you to paste on your website will bring down your Google PageSpeed score.

Live Chat

Live chat service providers give you a snippet of code to put on your website to bring up the chat window and functions to make live chatting work. With that code, there will be small icons and graphics. When that icon is clicked it opens up the chat window. To load chat external images, JavaScript and CSS code is used. That code can't be minified or cached inside the website to leverage browser cache.

External Bookmarking Tools

There are vendors who offer bookmarking tools for various social network platforms. You often need to install snippets of code that use external images, CSS and JavaScript which can't be minified and cached inside the website to leverage browser cache.

Widgets from External Websites - Weather Modules, Affiliates Code, Ad Banners

Similarly, third party services that downloads data from an outside source will likely have a negative effect on your PageSpeed score. They can be widgets like these:

  • Weather modules
  • Affiliate programs
  • Ad banners
  • Ticketing widgets
  • (and others)

This is because they use the same technique of loading JavaScript, images and CSS from their server where we have no control to minify, optimize and make these resources cacheable. If your website requires these resources we will, of course, make every attempt to increase the PageSpeed score but, as stated, some aspects are outside of our control. We will be glad to speak to you about the pros and cons of these features if they are a part of your website project.

External JavaScript and CSS

WordPress uses a lot of extensions to extend the function of a website. These add-ons/plugins/components/modules are built by third parties who use their own resources. A plugin may do the job but resources like JavaScript and images may load from their server. Any extension that uses this approach is a little difficult to optimize.

Complex Themes That Rely on JavaScript Frameworks

There are plenty of themes available in the market. Some are built really good with lot of consideration but some themes may look awesome but will be poorly coded. JavaScript will render the whole page (which goes against the speed parameter) instead of the top part of the age. The execution order is HTML > CSS > JS. So all the JavaScript should load at the bottom.

Ok... What?

If what's written above doesn't make sense to you, then don't panic - we're here as geeks to help!

If you have a WordPress website, we can help you get a top score. We can even guarantee a score of 85 or higher if your website does not include any of the things listed above. If your website does use any of these things, you might still have a good chance of getting a good score. We can help!

What Helps You Get a Good PageSpeed Score

We've gone through some technical details about what negatively affects your score, so here are some things that improve your PageSpeed score:

Fast Hosting

Honestly, fast hosting can really help. You want SSD hosting, which uses solid state drives - versus the old hard drives that spin. Also make sure the hosting is optimized for WordPress. Getting onto private hosting works well, too. Basically, you want to be in a good neighborhood where everyone on the server is keeping their software up to date, not getting hacked or not trying to hack other websites. You want to be on the good side of the tracks.

Use a Good Theme

Lots of WordPress themes can either be bloated or might just not be built very well. We've outlined a few reasons above. Get one from a reputable source who has good ratings. Before buying a theme, test the theme using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool.

Don't Use Code Snippets

Find other ways to accomplish what you want without using code snippets, which rely on other websites.

Optimize Images

Whenever you upload images to your website, make sure they are optimized so that they are lean. They need to load fast.


Minify means to remove spaces. It kind of compresses the file down in size to help it load faster.

What Google Says

Here is the list that Google gives everyone:

  1. Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  2. Leverage browser caching
  3. Minify JavaScript
  4. Optimize images
  5. Enable compression
  6. Minify HTML
  7. Minify CSS
  8. Avoid landing page redirects
  9. Prioritize visible content (prioritize the above-the-fold content)
  10. Reduce server response time

For the User Experience there are these items:

  1. Size tap targets appropriately
  2. Avoid plugins
  3. Configure the viewport
  4. Size content to viewport
  5. Use legible font sizes

If you read that and realize that there are a LOT of little details in website design and development... you would be right. It's best to leave it to the experts but if you want to try, go ahead. I could work on my car but I'd rather pay a mechanic because they'll do it right and they'll do it faster. I've got better things to do.


It's not often that Google gives everyone a tool to use to help get a website up to their standards, so when they do... it's best to make darn sure you score the best you can.

If you need help with Google PageSpeed optimization, please contact Webstix today.


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