Google’s Page Speed Service

Google Page SpeedWith all of the “buzz” surrounding Google’s new social network, Google Plus, a lot of other cool announcements have flown by with less coverage in the tech news community. One of those announcements is Google’s new Page Speed service, an open-source and free project which helps folks optimize their web pages by applying best practices for web performance. That’s a big mouthful, but essentially what it means is that Google will help you optimize your website for speed, so when folks visit it they’ll see your content faster than ever.

There are a few different ways to try out Google Page Speed, but the easiest is to head on over to pagespeed.googlelabs.com. Once you’re there just enter the web address of the website you’d like to analyze and Google will give you a brief report of what they think you can do to speed up your website. Depending on how well your website has been optimized for speed already, the scan may take a few seconds so don’t be too worried if the report takes a while to load.

Once you have your report all of Google’s suggestions for speeding up your website are outlined for you, including high, medium and low priorities. After testing the tool with a few different websites I’ve noticed that Google will pick up on things like whether your images are too large, whether you’re adhering to CSS best practices and whether any javascript elements on the page are poorly optimized. You will also be assigned a score out of 100 as to how well your website performed - with the different websites I tried I had scores ranging from 90 for snappy websites and 55 for sites that crept along at a turtle’s pace.

google page speed for whitehouse.gov

Another cool feature of Google Page Speed is that it has an option to check for how well your website is optimized for mobile browsers, such as the ones on smart phones and tablet devices. It’s becoming increasingly important to have your website render quickly on both a desktop computer and mobile devices with the huge (and growing) popularity of devices using Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system. Google Page Speed is an excellent service if you’re a web novice looking to optimize your website. If you’re not really sure where to start, be sure to discuss your Google Page Speed report with your web developer in order to develop a strategy for optimizing your website!

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