The client needed a performance audit to improve bounce rate and SEO for a successful legal compensation website.
Optimisation of the website www.mulderrigs.co.uk so that the mobile speed rating (as checked through the Google speed checker tool) improves and the desktop maintains or improves.
The site was checked using Google PageSpeed Insights, GT Metrix and WebPageTest. GT Metrix is generally a more accurate and useful real-world reference and so most of the page scores focused around this test. The site was scoring D (56%) for PageSpeed and E (56%) for YSlow, with a fully loaded time of 2.8s, a total page size of 1.82mb and 130 requests. Checking the waterfall it was clear that many assets were blocking render / paint, and ‘time to first paint’ was also particularly slow.
Some of Google’s (and others’) suggestions relate to features that currently only work in Chrome or are not feasible unless beginning a project from scratch and having complete control over the code at every step (eg, leverage sprites, Leverage the font-display CSS feature). This reflects in the page speeds after optimisation not always reaching A rating or 100%, especially for YSlow. However, a look at this table gives a snapshot of the improvements. These key statistics have the most impact on how a page loads, especially on mobile.
The Chrome testing app is however very useful. The Chrome Audit tab in network tools is another way of looking at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/ with a couple more options like throttling to 3G, which gives a good emulation of real-world performance at slow network speeds.
The site suffered from a combination of a poorly coded theme, multiple stylesheets that had accreted, plugin overload (many active plugins competing for the same optimisation tasks) and multiple video embeds. As a result page speed was very slow, especially on mobile.
The main issues with the homepage were direct youtube video embeds and heavy facebook assets being unnecessarily loaded. The site had ‘ShareThis’ plugin installed which was not being used and did not function properly. Removing that plugin and some unnecessary assets included in the footer.php led to a visible increase in responsiveness of the page load straight away.
Other site improvements added included:
You can download the client pdf report here: Mulderrigs Page Speed
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