Readability Theme Progress Update

Last week I delve into web sustainability which led to running several tests using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. As I knocked out one suggestion then the next I was surprised how simple delivery enhancements can speed up even the leanest website.

PageSpeed Insights

Websites are heavy, even a simple blog post can easily pass 2 megabites just displaying text. As I drilled down the path to a score of 100 the suggested fixes turned into a game. By removing Open Sans as a web font I saved 300ms. It’s a secondary font on this theme and I didn’t even perceive the swap for my browsers default of DejaVu Sans. Here are some of my favorite enhancements.

  • Setting font-display to swap can save a few seconds. Fonts can be render blocking until the whole page has downloaded. Yikes.
  • Fewer calls to third party servers really do make a noticeable difference. Even Jetpack which leverages caching and a content delivery network adds unnecessary weight to a page.
  • After purging every unnecessary bit from this theme some of the pages load in less than a second.

Caching is easy

A few years ago I shrugged off caching, I always tried to keep my projects lean so adding a plugin to scrape off 500 milliseconds didn’t seem important. However, when you add up those extra kilobytes and half seconds over the total viewership of a website the improvements can be easily perceived.

  • JavaScript is a beast, less so when cached
  • CSS and HTML can be cached allowing for the DOM to fly by
  • I also gained a new respect for lazy loading images

Enough ranting, here’s some screenshots.

PageSpeed Insights Report for this website on the Desktop view.
PageSpeed Insights score this website for the Mobile view.

For kicks check out my PageSpeed Insight results for this page.

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