January 2, 2024
Learn Performance by Google

Google launched its ‘Learn Performance’ course. The course is designed for those new to web performance. It covers key web performance concepts and techniques for improving performance. At least… that is what the label says.

It tells you that website performance is about retaining users, improving conversions and improving the overall user experience. The relationship between performance and business outcomes is clear. It is remarkable, and typical for Google, to not say a word about the relationship between website performance and SEO. However, Google had plans to publicly shame slow websites in the search results. Therefore it is very unlikely that Google completely ignores website speed in their ‘super secret search engine algorithm’.

The tips from Google

Google gives you some tips on how to make your website faster. They start with:

Additionally, they have some more tips, like:

Finally, they tell you to:

No significant difference

I bet that you have tried some of the above things and that they made NO significant difference. Maybe… if you tried all of them and spent an insane amount of time on optimizing your website, you improved from a 25 score on Lighthouse to a 50 score… which is still FAR from the desired perfect 100 (or 90+) you were probably aiming for. Sure, some of these things on this list CAN have some serious impact… but they are nearly impossible, like splitting your existing javascript code. Other things on this list OFTEN have little to no impact at all. They might even have a negative impact, like inlining CSS, minifying and using a CDN.

What DOES work?

Do you really want a faster website? Take your project and rewrite it in a way that it uses DRASTICALLY less code. Most performance problems are related to the amount of CSS and JS code that needs to be parsed, executed and rendered by the browser. If you can omit a 100kb jQuery framework or remove a significant amount of CSS, you will see some SERIOUS impact on your performance score. Your average website does not need more than 14kb CSS and a few kilobytes of javascript. I know this… because I (re)build websites with a perfect Google Lighthouse score on a daily basis.

Not sure how to do that? Feel free and contact me!

()  Joost van der Schee

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