I’ve been blogging alot about WordPress Page load speed lately. So many studies have shown the negative influence on conversion rates with slow loading Web Pages and speeding up a Website can be simple. Google has noted that Page load speed is only a small factor in SEO rankings however I’m certain that Page load speed will become a significant ranking factor in the near future.
Google and Page Load Speed
Google has numerous projects on the go in the attempt to speed up the Web. Some of these (awesome) projects include:
Google Public DNS: When you enter a URL in your browser, a Domain Name Service is used to direct the Browser where the Website associated with the URL may be found. A slow DNS resolution service obviously slows down Page load speed. I’ve seen very good results in terms of speed and strongly suggest using Google Public DNS (it’s free).
WebP: Images are often the biggest reason for slow Page load times. Google are being very proactive in developing the WebP image format that is a Web specific format that reduced the size of images by over 20% without any loss of quality. Google Chrome supports WebP already as does Opera and the latest version of Android (it doesn’t look like Mozilla Firefox supports WebP yet).
PageSpeed: PageSpeed is a family of products. Most widely known is PageSpeed Online which is a free tool that’ll analyze your WebPage speed and offer recommendations on what to improve (there is also a version for Chrome Browsers). There is also mod_pagespeed which is an Apache HTTP Server module that does all sorts of great things to speed up WebPages such as moving CSS to the head of a Page in order to eliminate multiple layout changes caused by CSS loading at different stages of the Page (Godaddy is the only Webhost that I know of that offers mod_pagespeed on shared hosting. If anyone knows of other Hosts providing support please let me know).
Google Page Speed Service
As part of the Page Speed family, the Page Speed Service (not yet in general use) loads Web Pages, optimizes them, then delivers the Pages from Google servers. Below is a video of Page load speeds before and after invoking the Page Speed Service on my Home Page (measurements calculated using Internet Explorer 8 based in Singapore … the tests can’t be based in Australia yet).
Google is doing an amazing job of creating technologies and tools to make the Web faster!