I recently decided to put some proper effort into getting a better page speed insights score. The wordpress theme I was using was old and fairly bloated which was an issue. The website also had a lot of custom pages outside of WP that used the same theme. Switching was not possible, so I had to try and make it faster.
It is worth saying that at this point, I had already optimised most of the network level stuff. The main problem I had left was with the site itself. With some development work I was able to make some huge gains. Even with the help of heavy caching on Cloudflare, I was able to get an almost perfect Desktop score. Getting 100 for mobile seems impossible for me though.
You can see the performance score below. This was after i completely stripped all of the dynamic wordpress elements from the site. Menu is hardcoded, css/js is all manually inserted in a combined a minified file. The entire css has gone from over 1mb to 200kb which was a huge saving. The site is pretty much a single call to the DB to get the post. No other dynamic calls happen for the theme’s configuration. Everything has been hardcoded.
These savings alone were a huge help but it wasn’t until cloudflare came into the mix that the performance gains really got big. I had to upgrade to the basic package for $20 per month for this as I needed to set several specific caching rules that would avoid dynamic pages being cached. It was all super easy to do. The upgrade in package also brought several benefits such as webp image caching.
The end result is a page load that is always under a second and in most cases around 500ms. For me, this is a huge gain from a site that was taking around 2 seconds to load (I didn’t think this was all that bad but page speed insights felt the need to be giving me 30-40 for it).
For me, this was all done as a means to improve SEO. I saw the benefit that having AMP html support brought. As much as I might not like it. If i can make the entire site perform this well, surely it means that the entire site will see a boost in traffic due to the significant performance benefit. Only time will tell i guess.
I am completely out of ideas to make this site any faster. The suggestions from page speed insights seems wrong. There is no way i will be saving .4 seconds here and there. When i load this site on my phone it loads almost instantly. How much faster do they want it to get!