Have you checked your website speed lately? If not, you probably should as your site speed will certainly influence the user experience, and indirectly, your SEO. However, don’t overreact when you see a poor speed score from Google.

It’s important to understand that Google’s PageSpeed Insights does not actually account for the actual site load time. If you’re using WordPress, you likely are taking advantage of multiple plugins, as we’ll as some custom code. After all, that’s part of the reason why WordPress is so great.

The problem is that Google’s speed test is based on having only one CSS file. With WordPress, you likely have multiple CSS files, unlike a basic HTML or PHP site. An extra CSS file shouldn’t slow your website down. In fact, the website will actually be enhanced with additional features associated with this additional CSS file.

If you want a better way to evaluate site speed I recommend GTmetrix or Pingdom. Let me give you an example of speed discrepancies between Google and GTmetrix and Pingdom…

In this comparison test we’ll use one of our client’s websites, www.panaceaplasticsurgery.com. First let’s start with GTmetric and Pingdom. As you can see below, both independent tests showed load times of about 3 seconds or less. Both also received “A” grades…

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Now, here are the results from the Google’s PageSpeed Insights’ test…

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That’s quite a difference. How about Google’s other speed test, their “Think With Google” mobile speed test? Let’s check that performance…

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Yet again, the site grades out poorly. However, in this particular test the reason for the poor grade is different. In this test, Google is loading your site using 3G speeds, which they claim “70% of global connections will use by 2020.” I don’t know about you, but I haven’t used 3G in years! Most people in the U.S. connect with wifi or LTE. There’s even a 5G in the works, and who knows what will be available in 2020?!

The key thing to know is your actual page load time. If you’re grading out well with GTmetrix and Pingdom you’re fine. Just make sure you’re proactive about keeping your site speed up.

The easiest way to stay on top of your site speed is to compress all images. You can use TinyPNG or a WordPress plugin, such as WPSmush. Here are some additional tips, some of which you might need a developer’s help to address:

  • Minify CSS, Javascript, HTML
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Remove query strings from static resources

These are just a few of the main things to be aware of. If you utilize a solid web hosting company, one that specializes in WordPress website, such as WPEngine, and you have a website or marketing team that stays on top of site speed issues, addressing them as they come, then you have a winning combination.

We love Google for many reasons. Their search engine is the best (in my opinion), and our clients are doing very well with AdWords. This is just one instance where I’d be wary taking their feedback at face value. That said, you might very well have a slow site, we just recommend you confirm that by using the other speed tests tools before you jump to that conclusion.

Do you have any questions about site speed? Need help improving your load times? Talk to Turbo today by dropping us a line here or calling 877-673-7096 x2.