Page Speed Optimization
A Practical Approach to Page Speed Standards
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to website page speed testing; one can test the same website from a variety of website speed testing services and end up with different results – with no single result being “correct.”
Common Sense Page Speed Optimization
PageSpeed recommendations are just that — recommendations. Many of the guidelines are easy to implement, easy to maintain, and simple to track, whereas other fixes can take hours to identify, investigate, and correct. In our approach, we aim to fix the “low-hanging fruit” such as image-size problems first. In fact, we’ve had cases where simply adjusting the image sizes and adding caching has significantly improved a website’s page speed metrics. Once we’ve taken care of the basics, we determine if there is a cost-benefit analysis of continued optimization.
Google Page Speed Insights Isn’t So Insightful
It is impossible to fix every page speed problem that is identified with page speed tools – human analysis is required. For example, in addition to the Google Analytics example above, you might be running a critical WordPress plugin or advertising tracking snippet that raises a flag during page speed tests. The problem here is that testing tools makes recommendations that if implemented, would break the plugin or render your tracking codes useless; it is for this reason that a human needs to review testing results and make judgment calls about what code is critical for the site.
Baseline Data vs. Post-Optimization Data
Given the caveats above, we still need to be able to demonstrate an improvement in your page speed results. In order to do so, we take baseline reports from two web page speed testing services and compare the results to post-optimization reports taken from the same services.
What is the Cost? Is There a Monthly Fee?
The page speed optimization service is priced as a one-time service with a one-time fee; there are no monthly or recurring fees. The fee ranges between $500 and $2,500+ depending upon how large a website you have, and what modifications need to be made. For example, if you have 100 images that need to be optimized, the fee will be higher than if you had 10 images.
How Often Should I Check My Page Speed?
Once optimization is done, it’s important to check page speed periodically – especially if you make frequent updates to your website or if you have third parties adding tracking codes such as for Facebook or call tracking. For most dental and medical websites, an initial analysis and implementation, followed by semi-annual reviews with minor tweaks should be adequate.