What exactly is Google PageSpeed Tools? There is alot of confusion around what PageSpeed Tools is and does. Hopefully this short article will help your understanding in relation to WordPress.
A comment (by Еда) on one of my posts regarding Google PageSpeed Service led me to a discussion about the compatibility of using Google PageSpeed Service and the WordPress WP Super Cache Plugin together. WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache (W3TC) and similar Plugins enable various optimization tasks on/via the Webserver such as Browser caching, database caching, CSS minification, compression and other optimization. The Google PageSpeed Service does all of this optimization and more such as also converting images to base64 where beneficial (to reduce round-trip times) and delivering images in smaller filesizes using the WebP format where browsers allow for this. In addition, the Google PageSpeed service also delivers cached and static content via the Google Content Delivery Network (CDN).
I can’t see how using a Plugin such as W3TC or Wp Super Cache in addition to the Google PageSpeed Service can be beneficial. If anything, I’d imagine that it would be detrimental to use one of these Plugins with the Google PageSpeed Service (best practice dictates that we should use as few Plugins as necessary and not duplicate functionality).
In the WordPress.org forum discussion noted earlier I added my ‘two cents worth’ as I just think that perhaps people are getting confused between Google PageSpeed Tools and the various products and services offered as part of the project. Here is what I provided on the discussion at WordPress.org:
… I use Google PageSpeed Service on a number of WordPress Sites and it perform minification, caching etc. i.e. all that W3TC and WP Super Cache does (and more) hence my question why someone would run W3TC/WP Super Cache in addition to Google PageSpeed Service.
I think people are confused around the terminology:
Google PageSpeed Tools: This is a set of guidelines and tools that speed up WebPage load times.
Google PageSpeed Service: A Service offered as part of Google PageSpeed Tools. Google PageSpeed Service delivers content via the Google CDN and also performs optimization to images, minification etc. (similar to CloudFlare).
PageSpeed module for NGINX and Apache HTTP Server: Caching and other Web page optimization performed on the Webserver. Part of Google PageSpeed Tools.
There are a number of other tools and services as part of Google PageSpeed Tools.
I hope this helps to clarify the difference between Google PageSpeed Tools and the various services and products as part of this initiative. Website and WebPage load speed is an important part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so is worth spending some time on.