- Google PageSpeed Insights helps development teams improve their websites through actionable insights into performance issues, but ongoing load testing should also be part of any serious development strategy.
- When combined with proper load testing with a platform like ours at LoadView, PageSpeed Insights is a powerful and essential tool for development teams looking to provide the best experience possible for their users.
Web applications can face significant issues in production, including slow load times. These slow load times may be attributed to communication issues between the network and the server, bugs development, or simply images that are too large to load quickly. Whatever the cause, slow load times turn off users, are punished by Google in their rankings, and can cause harm to your business as users abandon your websites and look to the competition.
Google PageSpeed Insights offers you the ability to improve and accelerate your websites. It’s a useful tool that can significantly impact your web application’s performance, giving you key insight into exactly how well Google thinks your website performs for users and where performance concerns might lay.
You can simply run PageSpeed Insights on your websites and begin to leverage the results to improve quality. Google PageSpeed Insights even prescribes actions that you can take to eliminate slow performing features of your web application.
PageSpeed Insights is easy to set up and use. But because its function requires the collection of data across various channels, it may take some time for it to give you the results you need. Let’s take a deeper look at what Google PageSpeed Insights is and how it can be beneficial to your business.
What is Google PageSpeed Insights?
Google PageSpeed Insights will help you and your development team propel your web application toward max performance levels by identifying performance issues you can then work to resolve. There are two datasets involved: first, a free tool called Lighthouse collects data produced in the lab and combines it with data from the real-world that is gathered with Chrome User Experience Reports. You get results that show you how your web application performs, and several recommendations that can boost its performance.
Google PageSpeed Insights audits the data gathered from these two sources to generate its results. Several metrics can be analyzed using Google PageSpeed. Each of these metrics represents a different variation of user perception. For instance, PageSpeed can measure what it calls “First Contentful Paint,” which is a measure of how long it takes for the web application to load the first screen in its display.
These metrics are then weighted to give an average score to Google’s perspective on the user experience of the web application in question. The scores are divided into three broad categories:
- Good (90-100)
- Needs Improvement (50-89)
- Poor (1-49)
A score range between 90 and 100 is obviously desirable. During the ongoing development of any application, it can be difficult reach a perfect score, so most teams don’t look for that and instead focus on fixes to other issues and revamping items on their web application instead of focusing on a perfect score. PageSpeed Insights give you just that, namely insights into how you can improve your websites.
Usability of Google PageSpeed Insights
Of the two functions of Google PageSpeed Insights (Lighthouse and Chrome User Experience Reports) Lighthouse is thought to be simpler to use and to set up. You can simply add its plugin to your Chrome browser. This can help you avoid going to Google PageSpeed Insights at all. You can use the reports generated on Lighthouse for reference purposes.
You can also access Google PageSpeed Insights via its webpage. From there, all you have to do is enter your web application’s URL and the system will give you a report of how it performs. The reports generated are easy to read and comprehend and are broken down into different categories. You’ll receive performance score, field data, origin summary, diagnostics and insights into how you might improve the site in question. You can also toggle between mobile and desktop versions of the Google PageSpeed Insights report to get a better view of your web application’s performance across different domains.
What to Look for in Google PageSpeed Insights Reports
The PageSpeed Insights “Opportunities” section offers the most accessible insights into the status of your website in terms of performance. Here you’ll find issues that should be addressed, with clarity. The report includes tangible steps toward remedying performance issues.
For example, PageSpeed Insights might recommend the use of lighter pictures. Larger images, it might show, weigh the system down and significantly delay response times. PageSpeed Insights might even recommend a plugin to convert too-large images to optimal size for the web.
In the same way, other functions can also be analyzed using Google PageSpeed Insights. You and your development team will likely want to work first on the issues that have the highest impact on your web application’s performance first, through to smaller issues.
The Importance of Regular Load Testing
While Google PageSpeed Insights is a great way to begin to make your web application perform at optimal levels, it’s not enough to achieve maximum performance. Google PageSpeed Insights’ only shows you the performance levels of your web application for a single user session. Accordingly it is unable to show you how well or how bad your web application will perform when there is a surge of users that try to access it at the same time.
Proper load testing augments PageSpeed Insights and gives you a clear view of how well your web applications perform at scale, when it matters most – namely, when many users are trying to access it at once.
Load Testing With LoadView
LoadView adds value to your performance testing toolkit. By reducing the time it takes to create complex code and scripts, LoadView’s EveryStep Recorder simplifies the process of testing and significantly reduces the time it takes to test and even costs. The ability to start a test right when you download our software onto your system gives you the strength to drill through to other essential tasks that will fulfill your business needs.
With our LoadView platform, you’ll also have access to load testing with the most up-to-date and widely used browsers to simulate actual users’ experience. LoadView provides the most realistic load testing available on the market today, which in turn gives the most accurate and actionable results.
LoadView’s ability to test across different geographical locations also gives a much-needed extra dimension your load testing program. With LoadView, you’re able to see why your web application behaves a certain way in a certain location, across browsers and devices. Your website might perform well in Miami but slowly in Vancouver, and with LoadView you can identify and work to resolve that issue.
The Benefits of Load Testing
Here is a brief summary of some of the benefits of regular load testing for websites and web applications. Load testing:
- Helps in the identification of performance bottlenecks before production deployment.
- Supports the configuration of optimal infrastructure for your websites and web applications. Infrastructure costs can be saved by terminating extra machines. Also, the additional machine can be added in the case of suboptimal infrastructure.
- Minimizes the risk of downtime by identifying and isolating the requests whose performance needs to be improved.
- Provides a sense of confidence and reliability in the application’s performance, at scale and when it matters most.
How LoadView Can Help You Test Smarter
Performance testing will eliminate major flaws in your websites and web applications and help you and your development team deliver the best possible experience for your users. Google PageSpeed Insights plays an essential role in ongoing development, but teams should use it in conjunction with LoadView for the best possible results. You can book a one-on-one demo with a load testing expert and access a free trial to start load testing today.