Google Page Speed – a Powerful CDN

Google Page Speed is a tool developed by Google. Simply put, it is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which allows webmasters to speed up their website. Everyone using it so far experienced improved performance (some even experienced 2x faster websites), therefore happier clients / customers and besides better conversions. It is as simple as that. Performance is extremely important in today’s web so you should always try your best to make your website load fast.

What does Google Page Speed exactly do?

In a few words: Google Page Speed is taking your website files (HTML, CSS, JavaScripts or media files) that are accessed by visitors and optimizes them. As soon as visitors access your website, they get delivered the optimized files, so the website will load a lot faster. This doesn’t mean that only a static website can make use of this service. Even if you have a blog or a website that is updated on a regular basis (such as many WordPress sites are), Google Page Speed will grab every single update and optimizes the new files as well. This way, your visitors will experience a much faster website, even for your latest updates.

PageSpeed Tool
PageSpeed Tool for WordPress Websites (Image: Screenshot/Website)

Perfect for WP, other CMSs or else

Please note that this article is to learn about the Google Page Speed service, no matter if your website is static, or if it runs on WordPress, any other platform or CMS. The reason why the title is called “Free Google Page Speed CDN With WordPress is, because there are quite a lot of websites built on WordPress, which are running pretty slow. Based on the fact, that WordPress is so powerful, lots of queries can be done for achieving many purposes, therefore the website can become slow. Adding the fact, that your HTML, CSS or your images might not be well optimized and you could get a really annoying slow website. With Google’s recent tool, you are able to solve this latter problem. So now let us see what can be done:

1. Creating the account

*This step is only for those who don’t own a Google Page Speed account yet. If you already signed up, please skip this step.* First you’ll have to sign up. As currently this only works by invitation, you will have to go to the Google Page Speed website, click “Sign Up”, fill in the details and wait for the confirmation.

2. Entering the domain

After creating your account, a new service will appear in your Google Console API, called “Page Speed Service”. Click on it and then you will find a textfield in which you are prompted to enter your domain. Make sure you enter the domain you want to optimize using the “www” as well. In case you need HTTPS connections, check the “Setup with SSL”.

Now you will need to verify the ownership (in case you never verified it with any of the Google services before). Click the “Claim ownership” button and then just follow the instructions. You can verify your domain by either logging into your hosting account performing the needed actions or you can upload an HTML file to your server. Both will work.

3. Setting up the origin host

Most probably you will see a “setup the origin host” message in the list near your verified domain. This is the original location where Page Speed will pull the files (your site files: HTML, CSS, images and so on) from, in order to optimize them and send to the user. Clicking that link will tell you exactly what you need to do next. Those tasks can be easily completed at your provider.

This is just an example, for every provider there might be a slightly different approach with different steps. Make sure you fill the name you need and the IP address that’s mentioned in your account, after clicking the “setup the origin host” link as said above. The propagation might take a while, so be patient. Once the propagation is done, your domain status message will change to “not ready – setup serving domain”.

4. Setting up the serving domain

This is the final step. You will have to modify the DNS record for your domain so it will point to Page Speed servers. Just click on the “setup serving domain” link and it will tell you the next step.

You will have to go to your DNS manager again and find the CNAME record section. If you already have a CNAME with a “www” host, you can edit it accordingly. If you don’t, create a new one and do as you are told in the instructions. Once again, this might take some time to propagate, but once you are done, the status message of your domain will update to a green text saying “Enabled”. Now you can enjoy the full speed this service provides!

5. Bonus! Adding Google Pagespeed to W3 Total Cache

If you are already using the W3 Total Cache Plugin (or plan to install it), you should know that you can easily integrate Page Speed with it. After installation, you can enter the plugin’s settings page and under “miscellaneous” you will find the box you need to tick: “Enable Google Page Speed dashboard widget”.

In order to obtain your Page Speed API key, you need to go back to Google API page, login with your account and just enable “Page Speed online API” (switching it from OFF to ON). Next, click “API access” on the left sidebar and your API key will be shown. Now you just have to paste this key into your plugin setting’s page, where mentioned before. That’s all!

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