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#1
Some Insights on Google Pagespeed
Posted March 5th 2014, 8:00pm
These days I pretty much ignore the topics on the phpBB support board, but this one made me chuckle: https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=2230216

After thinking about it for a minute, though, I realized it would be worth making a couple comments about the use of Google Pagespeed to "optimize" your site.

One must remember that the first rule of business is to make a profit. Google happens to be quite good at this, and one reason is that people seem to blindly eat up everything Google serves to them (pun intended). For example, lots of people use their Chrome browser. I do not and will probably never do so. Why? If you read the fine print in the l-o-n-g agreement which is presented when you install Chrome, you will find that by agreeing to their terms, you have authorized Google to collect your browsing history and have Chrome covertly send it back to Google. I'm never going to agree to that! You may feel differently, but to me, Chrome is spyware.

Now, about Pagespeed Insights. Let's look at two of its "benchmarks".

It is no accident that Pagespeed Insights uses a 320x480 model for mobile...the 2:3 aspect ratio is the default for most Android/Chrome smartphones. If you follow their advice for tap targets, the resulting pages will look great on Android/Chrome smartphones but poorly spaced on iPhones (which have a 1:2 aspect ratio). Gee, er, um...do you think that was done on purpose?

Pagespeed Insights also says it's important to use Javascript to load external CSS files after the above-the-fold content is loaded. It just so happens that Chrome is designed for this, but all other browsers want the CSS loaded before the page is rendered. Again, if you follow their advice for loading external CSS files, the resulting pages will look great on Chrome, but on loading, they will have a slight-but-noticeable "flash" on all other browsers. Gee, er, um...do you think that was done on purpose?

The moral of this story is to remember that Google is in business to make money, NOT to make your sites run faster. Pagespeed Insights does contain a number of great suggestions to improve the page load times of your site, but it is clear that one of its main purposes is to make Google products look good at the expense of competitors' products.

There are many tools available to optimize page loading; it would be in your best interest to use at least two. It would also be in your best interest to check the results of the "optimization" on as many different devices/browsers as possible to insure the "optimization" does not cause problems with selected devices/browsers.

The Dion Designs Discussion Board gets a 98/Desktop and 92/Mobile score from Pagespeed Insights. It will never follow Google's advice for CSS loading and tap targets. I'm happy with that. :D
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Some Insights on Google Pagespeed
Posted March 6th 2014, 6:44pm
Very well said. If anyone looking at making their phpBB board faster, take a look at t8855/redesigning-the-cascade-style-sheet-to-my-board-need-tips/ as doing that will save a number of database calls and the php runtime will be lower.
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#3
Some Insights on Google Pagespeed
Posted March 16th 2014, 11:09pm
Good point about Google. Sometimes it's not too obvious for me but of course OF COURSE they would want people to follow their HTML/coding recommendations.

Daniel, funny I had this topic bookmarked for years just realized you are the OP 8-)
it just crunches up teh css nothing more but I may actually end up using Dions snippet pretty soon. I just need to stop fidgeting with css.
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Some Insights on Google Pagespeed
Posted March 17th 2014, 6:30pm
Yeah, back then I just wanted to make the CSS smaller, maybe combine the 2 together?
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Some Insights on Google Pagespeed
Posted April 1st 2014, 12:05pm
Daniel said:
Yeah, back then I just wanted to make the CSS smaller, maybe combine the 2 together?


I think it's possible with .htaccess I've done it in the past. :)
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