Using Google PageSpeed Insights to speed-up Fossadventures.com

I wanted to optimize the load time of Fossadventures.com. I had performed some tests on Google PageSpeed Insights a couple of weeks ago and my scores were 76/100 for mobile devices and 55/100 for the desktop. The big ticket item was to enable Gzip compression. I researched the subject and the solution appeared to be a simple adjustment of the Nginx configuration (1, 2). Thanks to Nginx and Digital Ocean for the excellent tutorials, which work just as well on openSUSE. My only remaining question was which MIME types to include. I found a nice compact list on Github and based my list on that.

The second suggestion was to optimize the images on the site. I decided to start with the header image, as this was a large image that is visible everywhere. I downgraded the JPEG quality from 85 to 75 and adjusted the Chroma sampling to 4:2:0. I performed a visual inspection of the old and new header image with help of Gwenview. As I didn’t see a big difference, I decided to use this optimized image for the website. I will probably use these settings for all future posts.

The third suggestion was to eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS content. I discovered that my chosen theme (Cannyon) loaded some Google web fonts by default. By disabling this option, the load speed increased even further. Thanks Google for the advice.

I retested Fossadventures.com on Google PageSpeed Insights and my new results are 94/100 for mobile devices and 79/100 for the desktop. That is a solid improvement!

Published on: 14 May 2018