Why Google Page Speed Insights isn't the best performance indicator for Shopware
We live in a world where more and more people use mobile devices and expect quick answers to their queries. Are you also one of those people who stare at the screen for seconds after a message and expect an answer right away? 🥸 For this reason, because of people like you, it is crucial for store owners to load their website as fast as possible. A slow load time can not only lead to a poor user experience, but it can also negatively affect your ranking in search engine results. To ensure that your website loads optimally and provides an optimal user experience, page speed analysis is an important part of your optimization process.
In this blog post, we're going to look at Google Page Speed Insights as an analytics tool. Google Page Speed Insights is one of the most famous tool for analysing the page speed, but it isn't that good. So, learn what Google Page Speed Insights is, why it's important, how it works and what problems it brings. Eventually, you'll be perfectly prepared to analyze and optimize your website load time. So let's start with what Google Page Speed is in the first place.
What is Google Page Speed Insights?
Google Page Speed Insights is a tool developed by Google to measure and evaluate the loading speed of websites. It provides detailed analysis and recommendations for optimizing the performance of websites, which is an important part of speed optimization.
Google Page Speed Insights analyzes various aspects of a website, including the size of images and other resources, code quality, browser caching settings, and much more. The tool rates the website based on a scale from 0 to 100 and provides recommendations for improving the loading time.
In addition, Google Page Speed Insights can also help uncover problems that can affect the loading speed of a website. These problems can include, for example, too many redirects, missing or invalid tags, or too slow server response times.
Overall, Google Page Speed Insights is a good free tool for website speed optimization. It provides detailed analysis and recommendations that can help improve your website's load time and user experience, and ultimately improve search engine rankings. However, Google Page Speed Insights should be used with caution. We'll get to the problems this tool offers later.
But why should you attach any importance to the loading speed at all? - Not all people are that impatient, are they?
Why is the loading speed of a website important?
Fast loading speed is crucial for any website. Why? Because it affects the user experience and search engine ranking.
First of all, loading speed affects the user experience on your website. If your website loads too slowly, it can lead to user frustration and cause them to leave your Shopware store and visit another store instead. A fast loading speed, on the other hand, can contribute to a positive user experience that encourages users to stay on your store and explore your products and content.
In addition, the loading speed also influences the ranking in search engines. Google and other search engines prefer fast websites and consider loading speed as a ranking factor. This means that a slow loading speed can cause your Shopware 6 store to rank lower in search results, while a fast loading speed can help your store rank higher.
In today's fast-paced world where users expect quick responses and fast load times, it's more important than ever to make sure your website loads quickly. A fast loading speed can not only contribute to a better user experience, but also help your website get found better in search engine results.
Do you want to learn more about SEO? Then read this article. 🤓
How to improve the loading speed of a website?
There are several ways to improve your store's loading speed and ensure a positive user experience. Here are some proven methods:
Optimize images: Images can greatly affect the load time of your website. Make sure you upload and compress images of the right size and quality to minimize loading time.
Use caching: Browser caching stores a copy of your website on the user's computer to reduce loading time on future visits. Make sure you use the correct caching settings on your website.
Minimize code: Unnecessary code, such as comments or spaces, can slow down load time. Minimize your code as much as possible to improve loading time.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN can improve load time by providing resources on servers close to the user. It also delays the loading of files that are not visible.
Update your hosting plans: If your website still loads too slowly, it may be due to your hosting plan. Check your hosting options and update them if necessary.
Improving the loading speed of your website requires continuous efforts and regular monitoring. Use tools like Google Page Speed or similar to measure and optimize your store's performance. This way you'll make sure that your users have a fast and smooth experience. By the way, there are also a number of other speed analysis tools, but more on that later.
To be honest, we think that there are better tools than Google Page Speed. So now let's take a look at the problems of this tool.
Problems of Google Page Speed Insights
Although Google Page Speed is a useful tool for measuring website loading speed, it can sometimes cause problems. However, before we start with negative things, we would like to pay a quick attention to the reliable data of the tool.
Google Page Speed Insights indicators are actually reliable:
You can take this data into account and trust it with a clear conscience.
So let's move on to the most common problems and erroneous data from Google Page Speed Insights:
Different results: Google Page Speed can give different results for the same website depending on where the measurement is taken from. This is because different servers and networks have different speeds and bandwidths.
Unclear error messages: When Google Page Speed finds problems with your website's loading speed, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the exact cause of the problem. The error messages may be unclear or require technical knowledge to understand.
Incorrect prioritization: Google Page Speed values some optimization measures higher than others, even though they may not have the greatest impact on loading speed. This can lead to store operators investing time and resources in the wrong optimization measures.
Outdated feedback: Google Page Speed is constantly being updated and improved, but sometimes the optimization suggestions can be outdated or no longer relevant to current web technology. Therefore, it is important to consult other sources and perform your own tests to make sure you have the latest and most relevant information.
The performance indicator: This is a good example for the outdated feedback. Reason: A smartphone from 2016 is used for testing, which is also throttled. Thus, skepticism is required here, because nearly nobody uses a throttled 7-year-old smartphone.
Theoretical data: The fact is, search engines like Google and Bing do not use such theoretical data to determine rankings, but rely on real user data.
Penalization for tracking scripts: Google Page Speed Insights heavily penalizes websites that have integrated tracking scripts. However, tracking scripts are of enormous importance for scalable sales, which is why not including them due to the ranking is not necessarily recommended. So a clear case of wrong prioritization (point 3).
Total Blocking Time as a measurement value: This is also a good example of the point of outdated feedback: The Total Blocking Time is now considered unnecessary and is already no longer taken into account by the search engines. This measurement value is also to be removed from Google Page Speed soon, which will most likely also ensure at least a 10% better performance score.
Despite these issues, Google Page Speed is a valuable tool for improving the loading speed of your Shopware 6 store. You can use it as a good starting point for optimization. But keep in mind that the ranking factor is only an indication and doesn't reflect the truth. With the free tool it's almost impossible to get a good score. There are other tools which cost a little but perform much better analysis. The reason is that they are using newer technologies. However, it's best to combine it with other sources and your own experience to create a fast and user-friendly store. But what other sources are there?
Alternatives to Google Page Speed Insights and what we use
There are several alternatives to Google Page Speed that offer similar load speed measurement features and optimization suggestions.
Problems of Google Page Speed Insights in daily agency life
In general, Google Page Speed Insights is very well known as a tool for website speed optimization and additionally free of charge. Perhaps this is one reason for the popularity of this tool, but perhaps also the ease of use. Unfortunately, due to the various shortcomings, which we already mentioned above, you have to be careful when using the tool.
Especially in everyday agency life, inaccurate or poorly prepared numbers can be very harmful and inexperienced developers can drive these numbers crazy. Due to the high awareness, many store owners also use the Google Page Speed Insights tool and want to have their page better optimized, whereas in reality it already performs very well. Ultimately, it can be said that Google Page Speed Insights is a good free tool to get an overview. But for a more detailed insight, you should always use another tool as a supplement. We'll tell you about the tool we use for our work as a Shopware agency in a moment.
Here are some recommended sources:
GTmetrix: With GTmetrix you can measure the loading speed of your website. The online tool provides detailed reports about your website's performance, including optimization suggestions and prioritization. GTmetrix uses similar metrics to Google Page Speed, such as load time and page size.
Pingdom: Pingdom is also an online tool for measuring website loading speed. It also offers detailed reports and optimization suggestions, as well as the ability to test your website's performance from various locations around the world.
Webpagetest.org: Webpagetest.org is a free online tool for measuring the loading speed of your website. It provides detailed reports on loading time, page load and other performance characteristics. It also offers the possibility to test your website's performance from different locations around the world. By the way, we as a professional Shopware 6 Agency are using this tool.
Lighthouse: Lighthouse is an open source tool from Google that is integrated into Google Chrome. It offers similar features to Google Page Speed, including load speed measurement and optimization suggestions. It can also be used to check other aspects of website performance, such as accessibility and best practices.
YSlow: YSlow, a free browser plugin from Yahoo!, also lets you measure the loading speed of your website and get optimization suggestions. It uses similar metrics to Google Page Speed, such as the number of HTTP requests and the size of the page.
These alternatives can be helpful to get a comprehensive analysis of your store's performance and optimization suggestions. It can also be helpful to consult multiple sources to get a more complete picture of your store's performance.
So what can we finally say about Google Page Speed Insights?
Conclusion and recommendations
Overall, Google Page Speed is a good guide for anyone who wants to create a fast and user-friendly website. However, you should not go crazy because of a bad score, because the tool also has some errors. Moreover, Page Speed Insights is also not used for ranking the ads or for ranking. The metrics of the search engines and the ads are not 100% known until today.
Nevertheless, by using this tool you can improve the loading speed of your store and thus optimize the user experience and ranking.
However, to get the most out of Google Page Speed, you should also consult other sources and perform your own tests. Use different tools and techniques to measure and improve the loading speed of your Shopware 6 store, and make sure you have the latest and most relevant information.
Another important point is the prioritization of optimization measures. Focus on the optimization measures that have the biggest impact on loading speed, rather than investing time and resources in less important measures. A fast store is important, but it's also important that your store is user-friendly and appealing.
Overall, Google Page Speed is a valuable tool for improving the loading speed of your website. Use it as a starting point and combine it with other resources and your own experience to create a fast and user-friendly website that is appreciated by both users and search engines.
If you want to learn more about how to improve your store's loading speed, there are many other resources that can help. Here are some recommendations:
Google Developers:The Google Developers website offers many resources and tools for optimizing websites, including loading speed. Here you can find guides, tutorials, videos and much more.
Stack Overflow: Stackoverflow is a popular online community for developers and programmers. Here you can ask questions and get answers to specific problems related to your website's loading speed.
Books and other articles: There are many books and articles on website optimization and loading speed. Search for trusted authors and sources to get solid information.
By using these resources and tools, you can further improve your store's loading speed and make sure it's optimized for both users and search engines. Use these sources as a starting point and combine them with your own experience and expertise to create a fast and user-friendly store. Or you can just contact us and we will help you! 🤓