Automating Google PageSpeed Tests

Posted on Jun 22, 2019

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PageSpeed Insights(PSI) is a powerful tool but it only checks one page at a time. The scores can have a huge effect on user experience and search position so it’s a good idea to make sure that all pages on your site are fast.

However, doing this takes hours because you have to manually paste URLs into the PSI interface every time you want to measure a URL.

What if there was a better tool to Automate your Google Pagespeed testing? One that could check your pages at scheduled intervals and send a nice report without anything being needed from you. Well, now there is - PagespeedPlus.com automatically scans your URLs daily or weekly and notifies you with the results.

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Setting scan frequency

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Contents

What is PageSpeedPlus.com

PageSpeedPlus is a tool that provides more powerful ways to measure and track your PSI scores than the basic functionality offered by Google. This is made possible by two key features.

Monitored URLs

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Monitored URLs allow you to track a list of URLs and have them scanned automatically every day or week. Afterwards, you receive an email or slack notification if the URLs fall below the desired thresholds you set.

Full Site Scans

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Full Site Scans provide the ability to scan your ENTIRE website instead of a random selection of pages. This means you can see the Google PageSpeed score for every single URL on your site and get greater visibility into your PageSpeed score across your entire domain.

How it works

With Monitored Scans, you manually specify a list of URLs that you want to track. PageSpeedPlus tests these every day or week and notifies you if they are slow. The other option is Full Site scans, where every URL in the sitemap.xml file has its pagespeed tested in bulk (we can even handle sitemap-index.xml files). We don’t notify you about slow pages after full site scans. We just tell you the scan has completed and leave it for you to analyze in your own time.

In both cases, PagespeedPlus takes your URLs and runs them through the PageSpeed Insights API, which uses Lighthouse data. We test URLs on both mobile and desktop to provide total insight into the performance of a page. Metrics that you get back are the mobile score, desktop score, time to interactive, first contentful paint and first meaningful paint.

You can set the scan frequency and forget about it. From that point on we will test your URLs and notify you if they are slow. If you don’t hear from us, it generally means your PageSpeed Score is good. If you do then you need to take some action.

Benefits

There are many benefits to automating your Google PageSpeed Insights testing:

No need to manually test

The most obvious benefit is that it’s automated and therefore removes the need to manually test your pages. Some people can make manual testing work but with any sort of scale, it is impossible to stay on top of.

Save Time

Automated PageSpeed testing saves time over manual testing. PageSpeedPlus can test multiple URLs at once and store the results faster than any human can do.

Get alerts when your score falls

email.png A typical notification email when low scores are found with monitored URLs

As PageSpeedPlus can run daily or weekly scans, you can track your score at regular intervals and take action when it drops. Compared to someone testing their PageSpeed manually once per month, PageSpeedPlus users have a significant advantage as they can react as fast when a new feature lowers their score.

No coding needed

PageSpeedPlus handles everything out of the box so there is no need for you or a developer on your team to write code. The only thing you need to do is provide it with a Google API key. After that, everything can be set up with a few clicks and then our automation takes over.

Clean UI

A primary goal of PageSpeedPlus is to measure PageSpeed scores at scale. On the flip side, that presents us with challenges in presenting that data at scale while still making it easy to digest without having to click around multiple sections of our tool. We’ve taken the time to build a friendly, simple and responsive interface that makes it easy to understand your scores across all sites. Central to this is the dashboard that lists all of your sites and the status of their Monitored URLs along with the average site score.

Build a culture of performance

Trying to improve PageSpeed is rarely the job of one department. It requires developers to build sites in performant ways, marketers to be conscious of the tags they place on a site and designers and writers to use compressed images. With PageSpeedPlus, you can bring these units together and give them the data they need in one place in an easy to digest manner and more importantly, understand when things change that require remedial action.

API

Automation doesn’t stop with our scheduled scans. Our API allows you to integrate the data into your tools, dashboards or build pipelines so it’s always available to everyone that needs to see it.

Google PageSpeed Insights vs WebPageTest vs GTMetrix

By landing on this blog, you are already aware of the benefits of fast websites but may be curious about why Google PageSpeed Insights specifically is important.

It’s widely known that Google places emphasis on web performance and rewards fast sites with good search rankings. PageSpeed Insights is a tool created by Google so when trying to establish exactly how Google grades your website speed, it is not difficult to conclude that they might use PageSpeed Insights ahead of the data returned by other tools.

For this reason, we optimize our sites to achieve a good score with this tool.

GTMetrix and WebPageTest are also big players in the speed measuring game but they differ from Pagespeed Insights(and PageSpeedPlus) in a few ways. They measure things from a purely technical perspective like raw loading time, page size, use of CDN, etc. PageSpeed Insights, on the other hand, measures the Performance, SEO, Accessibility and PWA features.

In other words, GTMetrix and WebPageTest measure raw loading time but PageSpeed Insights is more of an SEO/UX measurement.

Conclusion

You can measure your PageSpeed score manually but it is almost impossible to do this regularly and on enough pages that allows you to stay on top of your score in a meaningful way.

Automation and scheduling really is the only way to track your score and react quickly when it changes. These are the key features that make PageSpeedPlus stand out from other tools.

If you want to Automate Google PageSpeed testing, consider using PageSpeedPlus.com.

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