Introducing Google's tools for measuring how fast your blog loads

This quick-tip describes some tools that I've recently discovered that measure page-load speed and make suggestions about how to improve it.

Google have said a number of times that page-load-speed (ie how quickly a visitor to your blog sees it load onto the screen) is one of the factors in SEO.

And even if SEO isn't important to your blog in terms of getting visitors, page-load speed is important for making your visitors happy: even your mother isn't going to be happy if your blog takes five minutes to show her the pictures of your new baby.

So Google's tools for measuring and improving page-load speed are valuable tools for most bloggers.

Where to find them:

The tools are available at

The most important one for Bloggers is in the Analyze section, called Insights, found under the "Analyze your site online" link.

There are other tools there, too (eg an API, the Page-speed service, extensions for certain browsers), but they are well outside what Bloggers need to know.

How to use the Pagespeed tool

To find out what Google thinks of your blog's page-load speed, simply type your web-address into the box in the middle of the Pagespeed  Insights screen, and click the Analyse button.

In a few moments, the screen refreshes with the results.

At the top of the results, there is your site's score out of 100.

Then there is a list of suggestions, broken down by priority (high, medlium, low) based on their "potential performance wins" (how much difference they make) and amount of "development effort" ie how hard they are to do).

Not all of these suggestions are relevant for Blogger users, because we don't have total control over how our posts are converted into website pages. However ones that are relevant include:
  • Optimize images
  • Serve scaled images,
  • Putting CSS into the document head  (in our case, putting it into the template rather than into individual posts)

If you go into the details of the particular suggestions (using the entries in the left hand sidebar), you can see how much impact they will have, and get information about what  you need to change to implement the suggestion.

Why bother

Given that so many of the suggestions aren't relevant for Blogger why use the tool at all?

One reason is that it gives you a way of looking at the effect of gadgets that you add to your blog:  looking at the page load score before and after adding the gadget shows if it makes much difference to your load time.   Based on this, you may decide to only show certain gadgets on a particular page.

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