New Google PageSpeed Updates

This week Google announced and rolled out version 5 of their PageSpeed tool. You can read the official post from Google, but the major change to note is that Google now uses its Lighthouse tool to measure and score website performance.

Google has always focused on improving the user experience on the web. The metrics for how they measure this has changed from getting the data as fast as possible from the servers to the end-user, to looking at the real user experience - that is when the user can actually use the site.

Google’s Lighthouse tool has been around since June 2016, and Mono has been using this as an audit tool ever since. Today the Mono Platform is already optimized for Lighthouse’s current version (3 soon to be 4) and because we’ve always optimized towards Lighthouse standards, Mono site performance continues to perform in the top 90th percentile in the latest release of the PageSpeed tool. We will, of course, always continue to optimize as Google enhances its performance benchmarks going forward.

Let’s dig in a little

To get just a little bit technical, Mono strives to work from a performance budget, so we have a target for how well our websites perform (read more on this concept here). This is a delicate balance to ensure the usability of our platform and deliver a high-performing website. There will be trade-offs, and we are aware of these to build a better product.

We are continuously exploring and implementing optimizations to deliver the best possible site without sacrificing the SMB's ease of use in our platform.

The latest significant improvement on the Mono Platform has been implementing service-worker caching (Part of PWA). This ensures that a user can use the website offline or in poor network conditions. We have also done optimizations to our sliding row groups to enable better performance.

Currently, we are working on optimizing our critical resources to deliver a better performance on “time to interact” and “initial load”. This entails optimizing our resource bundles and using modern features like "preconnect", "preload" and "prefetch" on the different resources needed to render an outstanding website (you can read more on that here). The last leg in this is optimizing on our web font loading.

Not scoring in the green zone?

Out-of-the-box our platform has always built websites that should perform very well in Google PageSpeed. Note that after any site publish, it’s important to run the tests twice as new publishes require the content delivery networks (CDNs) to be warmed up again. It’s also important to note that if you add custom CSS or any additional javascript to websites this can have an impact on performance. Similarly, large images or video embeds can also prove problematic. If you’re struggling to achieve ideal results in Google PageSpeed take a look at the recommendations provided by Google. If you need help interpreting those, the Mono Service Desk is happy to take a look!

This blog post was written by Magnus Udbjørg, Head of Development at Mono Solutions.