We begin the year based on a theme that was important in the past and it will turn out to be vital in the future. It’s about optimizing the speed of a website. Your site performance and the loading time has a massive impact on sales.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that since November 2018, the process of site improvement has changed. Until now, the speed optimizations have mostly been a general process, with most websites having similar issues that prevent the site from using it at full capacity, for example, image generation, low server and so on. With the new requirements from Google regarding the speed, your site can lose its place in search results. Until now, the requirements were at the level of general school when it comes to optimization, but now they have raised at the level of high school.

As you probably know, Google has provided you with a variety of tools to help you understand the performance of a site. At first sight, it seemed like this is a good idea but recently it was realized that having a lot of variety of tools all with distinct proposals, it only caused confusion among the users.

Google has decided to disperse the misunderstandings and in November 2018 Google Page Speed Insight received a major update. Until now the PageSpeed Insight tool analyzed the performance of a page on both desktop and mobile devices and provided recommendations on how you can improve your page.

The Lighthouse instrument has been an open-source tool that has provided personalized advice on improving your site in terms of performance, accessibility, and other practices. Since November, PageSpeed Insights uses Lighthouse as an analysis engine. With this update, Google has reduced confusion and also brings a lot of new recommendations on how to improve the speed of a site. This means Google no longer evaluates your site based on what you can do to improve your site, but it will also evaluate it according to its performance.

What kind of information does PageSpeed Insight provide from now?

Lab Data. PageSpeed Insight using Lighthouse simulates how a mobile device loads the page. After finishing, it summarizes the performance values and gives you a performance score of 0 to 100. The scores are classified into three levels, a score of 90 or higher is considered fast, and 50 to 90 is considered average, below 50 is considered to be slow.

Field Data. The data is based on a version of the Chrome User Experience report that is updated daily. The values here may be different from those in the Lab data section, as it captures a broad spectrum of conditions and devices in the real network used by Chrome users.

Opportunities. These are the suggestions PageSpeed Insight offers about how to improve the performance of a page and how quickly the page will be loaded.

Diagnostics. Provides additional information on how a page complies with best practices for site development.

Passed audits Indicate the audits that have been passed by the page.

Test your site with PageSpeed Insights and find out how Google sees you. The test result will not only refer to site performance but also to its quality.

Here are some recommendations from Pagespeed Insights which can be solved by implementing our modules.

Google WebP Image Generator module

After running a test of your site and appears the next recommendation your site will need the WebP Image generator module.

Installing the “Google WebP Image Generator” module through which you can regenerate the images on the website in a format recommended by Google (this format is called WebP). Using this module to generate images will also reduce their size by up to 30% while maintaining the same quality.

Once you start generating images with the WebP image Generator for PrestaShop, you will see important improvements in your site’s speed and your images will maintain the original quality.

The module delivers superior loss-free compression regarding the images of your site, and it is recommended to speed up your webshop. It is much more efficient than generating your images with the standard image generator in PrestaShop, it has no errors and you can see the progress of the whole process.

Generating images with this module will free up space on the server, and the loading of your pages on the site will become faster. Google will appreciate the images generated by this module and you can get a better ranking in Google search engines.

Progressive Web App module

If this mention appears, you will definitely need the Progressive Web App module.

The module is a solution for loading web pages faster. It allows your site to be accessible even if a user has a slow internet connection or even when there is no internet connection. PWAs combine the flexibility of the web with the user experience of a native application. As you can see this module is recommended even by Google and it is an important factor when it comes to Google search rankings.

Once this module is implemented, the performance will generally be better and users will also be able to create an icon and shortcut for the site on their mobile devices, thus allowing them to reach your products faster.

HTTP 2 Web Push module

After the new recommendations, the HTTP2 web push module cannot be missed from your site.

Implementing the HTTP2 web push module will allow the connection between the site and the server to be continuously open. This is very important with regards to page speed. Also, the possibility of “server push” will appear which means that the server recognizes that the HTML needs more information and will send these automatically.

Critical CSS module

We recommend implementing this module because it will reduce the time until the “First Contentful Paint” which right now is 6.6 seconds. Without this module, when a user interacts with your website, all CSS rules are  “scanned” and loaded, even those which are not used on the site or not used on that specific page. This module will sort the CSS rules and run the ones which are needed, reducing loading time.

Lazy Load module

LazyLoad is a flexible script that accelerates the site by loading images as entered in the visual field.

Image SRC set module

We recommend using Image SRC set to ensure that images are optimized across all devices, including mobile. More specifically, the images loaded when the website is accessed from a mobile device are distinct and smaller than the ones which are loaded on the desktop and are usually larger. (Please make sure you have sufficient space on the server because multiple versions of the images will be generated for multiple resolutions.)

Speed is still one of the most important aspects.

As mentioned above, the speed of a site will remain a milestone in the Google Search ranking. Speed optimization is not only important for Google’s ranking, but it will also improve the user experience and conversion rates of your online store.

Performance optimization should always be a priority, especially when there is so much competition online. Optimization offers you many measurable commercial benefits while improving site efficiency. This will increase the number of visitors who can then be turned into subscribers to newsletters, readers and, of course, paying customers.

If you want to have an online store that works at full capacity, it’s vital to optimize the pages. Also, you and your clients will be very pleased with the benefits.

Think about racing: every year, each competitor improves his car to compete with greater chances to win the trophy. That’s exactly what happens in electronic commerce. You must always try to reach the first place. Do not wait until all competitors will overtake you. Test your site and do not be afraid to ask for advice and specialized help.

When it comes to optimizing page speed, it is not enough to improve general things such as image regeneration or server change. Speed optimization has become more complex. There are many things that must be done by experienced programmers in this area. If you want to optimize the speed of your site, one of the most important things to do is to choose the right team for the process.

As mentioned earlier, speed optimization is no longer a general process, each site should be analyzed separately, and recommendations must be customized for each website.

In addition to the new requirements that are mentioned by PageSpeed Insight as miniaturization of HTML, CSS, and Javascript remove unused CSS, etc., the image regeneration should be done using the latest technology. When it comes to image regeneration, Google’s recommendation is to generate images in the WebP format. At this time, we are the only company in the world that has created a module for the PrestaShop platform that can generate product images in WebP format.

We are one of the best teams to run an optimization of the site. Test the site with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool and if you are not happy with the results, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is ready to help you to improve your speed. Our experience in optimization allows us to reduce the loading speed of a PrestaShop store below 3 seconds. Compared with other companies, we do not only offer an audit of the site but we will technically intervene to solve these problems.