There are many articles out there suggesting how to score 100 in PageSpeed Insights (PSI). However, while some of those suggestions might get you some good scores on PageSpeed Insights, they would hardly get you scores of 100/100 in all aspects of PageSpeed Insights. Some of those sites would weigh you down with a heavy burden that they themselves wouldn't touch with a finger. In other words, those sites themselves rarely score 100/100 in all PageSpeed tests.
I assume that you have a WordPress site or some other Content Management System (CMS). My second guess is that you are probably looking for a plugin to optimize your website in order to achieve full scores in PageSpeed Insights. To be honest with you, scoring 100/100 in all aspects of PageSpeed Insights is very difficult if not impossible, if you are relying on just plugins or snippets.
I was able to achieve 100% scores in the following aspects of Google PageSpeed Insights which includes the following:
Well I started my website with WordPress and for a very long time, I searched endlessly and made several futile attempts in achieving full scores on PageSpeed tests. Even when I managed to get in the green zone (90% score and above) occassionally, it was usually shortlived. A mere addition or swap of a plugin could easily cause some of the scores to drop to the red zone.
After couple of years and fruitless efforts, I had to create a custom theme and that solved 70% of the problems with PageSpeed scores. My website was able to stay permanently in the green zone of PageSpeed tests with scores of 90 in performance and 100 in other aspects.
The hint here is that a custom theme could really boost your website performance. This is because many themes are usually bloated because they try to provide features for several purposes. By using a custom theme, I was able to reduce the theme features to specific needs.
But still, I wasn’t satisfied with with a score of 90, I wanted 100/100 in all four aspects of PageSpeed Insights highlighted above. So I switched to a new web framework and refactored the whole code of the website in the process. Thereafter, scoring 100/100 in PageSpeed Insights haven’t been a problem for me. I had to recreate lots of logic from WordPress plugins but it was worth the effort.
WordPress comes with lightweight themes by default and they usually yield good scores in PageSpeed. But as a website grows and utilizes several plugins, performance could easily drop.
According to statistics, Google has 92% of the market share in search engines worldwide. As a result, your website would be missing huge potential organic traffic if it is not optimized for Google search. I will go through each of the four aspects of PageSpeed Insights mentioned above to explain their importance for a website.
Performance - Google PageSpeed assesses things such as page loading speed and page size. A smaller page size would usually result in faster loading times for site visitors. Surprisingly however, many web pages often exceed 1mb and there are many websites in the 3 – 5mb range. This means that in many cases (at least with first time visits), a website visitor would have to use between 3 – 5mb of mobile data just to view a single page. You might think that shouldn't be a big deal because of your perception of internet speed. However many site visitors could be coming from places where internet speed might be slow (2g and 3g are still being used in some places).
Accessibility – Accessibility is often taken for granted by many website owners and some developers. A website should be accessible to people with various needs. For instance, a blind person would rely on screen reader in other to access a website content. Thus if your website lacks the proper HTML semantics for accessibility, it could have a negative impact on your site ranking in search engines.
Best Practices – This PageSpeed test involves security test among others. One particular security test which many websites surprisingly fail is the content security policy (CSP). CSP is an added layer of security that helps to detect and mitigate certain types of cyber attacks. Such attacks include Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and data injection attacks. These attacks are usually the gateway to some of the most dangerous cyber attacks which include: data theft, site defacement and malware distribution.
SEO – Optimizing your website for search engines allows search engines to easily understand the content of your web pages. For example, if you want your web pages to show in rich snippets, you may need to add schemas. At the very basic, your websites should have meta tags such as description and title.
Scoring full scores in PageSpeed Insights often involve editing codes manually. If you are using WordPress, there are plugins that you can use to optimize your website in order to get some good PageSpeed scores. Those plugins however probably wouldn’t get you full scores on PageSpeed Insights. This is particularly true if your website utilizes several other plugins.
If you are reading this article, I assume that you are not a programmer so my best recommendation is that you should hire a developer to tweak your website for performance. This might cost you some money, but it would save you a lot of time and you wouldn’t need to search fruitlessly for something that is virtually impossible. If your website is growing, hiring a developer to fix performance issues isn’t a bad idea.
In the alternative, if you are managing a WordPress site and you do not want to hire a developer, below are two of my favourite plugins that might help you to optimize your website to get some good scores on PageSpeed Insights.
1. Plugin Organizer by Jeff Sterup
All installed plugins on a WordPress site usually load on every page of a WordPress website, thus increasing the size of web pages tremendously. Plugin organizer helps you to reduce the number of plugins that are loaded on each web page. This could significantly reduce the size of your web pages because you would be able to load a plugin only where it is needed.
2. W3 Total Cache (W3TC) by BoldGrid
W3TC is a very powerful web performance optimization tool that allows you to minify scripts and CSS files. This would noticeably reduce the size of your web pages. W3TC also has several other features such as CSP settings, CDN setting, browser caching, etc.