Podcast | The Keys to Success on the Web with Alberto Medina

Podcast season 2 google success on the web Plesk

Hello Pleskians! Another month, another episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this episode, we welcome Alberto Medina, Developer Advocate at Google. He and his team are focused on developer relations and the Open Web, with a keen interest in WordPress.

Podcast Plesk Alberto Medina

In This Episode: 4 Factors for Measuring Success on the Web

Just creating on the web isn’t the best approach when you’re trying to be a successful creator or business owner. Alberto knows that, and he, with his team at Google, are dedicated to helping creators by showing them how to be more successful.
Straight away, Alberto talks about why Google is interested in this. And it’s simple:

I am very interested in doing everything I can to contribute to the evolution and the quality of the web, for everyone…Google, like many other organizations, is a company that depends on the web, right? We are a web company; therefore, the success of the web is at the core of our success as a business.

A rising tide lifts all boats, as it were! Because of that, Alberto (and Google) have put a lot of thought into tools and concepts to help us all make better, engaging websites and content.
In fact, Alberto says that there are 4 key factors to measuring success:

  1. Quality Content: Content is king, and the more value you bring to your users, the more successful you’ll be.
  2. Performance: Your content needs to load fast, be accessible, and have a good user experience. People won’t wait around for content if it takes a long time to load or it’s hard to access.
  3. Monitoring: By tracking page views, monitoring performance, and learning how people are interacting with your content, you’ll better understand your users to create even better content.
  4. Monetization: Understanding that there are several ways to monetize your content allows you to get paid for what you enjoy doing, as well as spend more time doing it!

To help with these success factors, there are lots of tools and resources that Alberto mentioned, like:

In fact, the whole reason Google teamed up with Plesk to bring you this episode is because both organizations offer a whole suite of tools to help you create great, performant content that you can monitor and monetize.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating on the Open Web instead of just on closed platforms is better for your content in the long run. Web Stories, an Open Web form of the popular social media feature, is one way to publish your stories on your own platform.
  • While there are lots of ways to improve performance on your website, many are technical. This can be the hardest part of a good website experience. Tools like AMP can help.
  • You need to understand how your content is performing. Monitoring tools like Google’s Site Console, and Site Kit can go a long way…as can A/B testing.
  • The idea of User-perceived Speed is you want the least amount of time between a user going to your website and the first thing they see. Don’t block content with heavy resources, like big images or videos.
  • Core Web Vitals, which can be found at Web.Dev, provides a unified set of signals to help you deliver a good, quality experience, based on the 4 success factors.
  • Above all, be sure to focus on the user – tell stories that will help them!

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring


Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer and podcast consultant. You can find him at Casabona.org.

Alberto Medina

Alberto is a Developer Advocate at Google.

Did you know we’re also on Spotify and Apple Podcasts? In fact, you can find us pretty much anywhere you get your daily dose of podcasts. As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

Why WordPress Admins Need More Than One SEO Tool

WordPress SEO Tools

Traffic to your website doesn’t come easy. You have to make your site as search-friendly as possible to attract users, promote your brand, and sell your product or service. While WordPress makes publishing content simple, managing SEO is trickier, requiring more time, effort, specialized knowledge, and SEO tools.

The right SEO tools can help you by automating a lot of tasks. So let’s explore why you need SEO for your WP site – and how to do it using a clever combo of SEO tools.

First, Here’s Why You Need SEO Tools


In today’s highly competitive world – first impressions are everything. Regardless of whether you’re a startup, small business owner, blogger, freelance developer, sysadmin, agency or full-blown enterprise. Your online presence needs to resonate with your target audience, so they remain engaged with your website, and ultimately – your brand.

If your website runs on WordPress, you’re in good company because it powers 33.4% of the top 10 million sites. From SMBs to large enterprises, it’s got 60% of the market. Reason being it’s simple and offers a plugin for virtually every need – no developers needed.

However, for your business to succeed, building a great website is not enough. Your audience needs to find you and choose you above a million others. This is where good search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.

Understanding the SEO Basics

SEO is about tracking, monitoring and improving your website’s position in search engine results. Ideally you want to rank as high as possible, since a good ranking means more traffic to your site. More specifically – traffic to your website that you don’t have to pay for via advertising.

SEO Basics

Being found on Google means ranking at the top of page one for a certain keyword. Check out these numbers: Position one receives about 31% of the traffic, position two is at around 15%, whereas position ten draws a meager 1.1 % to your website. Needless to say, website links found on page two or later are hardly visible at all and attract below 6% of all website clicks.

How to Get Google to Rank You Highly

How to Rank You High On Google

Google makes this decision by evaluating over 200 factors from your website. Considering everything from credibility to content relevancy for the user, technical aspects, content quality, user experience, and more. Sounds daunting? Don’t panic! You can start getting your SEO right by simply focusing on these top three critical factors.

1. Creating relevant content for your website.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Content is king!”. Mainly because it’s the most crucial part of SEO. Search engines honor sites that serve relevant content, giving visitors the best possible answer to their search intent. To create optimal content, you need to understand your visitor’s needs, choose the right keywords, and use the correct format.

2. Optimizing your website using on-page SEO

On-page SEO refers to the ongoing ways in which you can optimize your content, technology, and other aspects of the user experience to rank better and attract more traffic from search engines. For example, to rank highly, all links between pages must work, and all resources (images, CSS, and JavaScript) must load smoothly and fast.

3. Promoting your content with off-page SEO

After optimizing on-page SEO, you can think about off-page SEO by building links and engaging in social media marketing. This is important as how many other websites and social media posts link back to the website has a big impact on the website’s search ranking. Moreover, websites that link to other websites based on similar topics usually rank higher.

Don’t Rely on WordPress Alone

Don’t Rely on Just On WordPress

Now that we know how important SEO is, let’s check out how search engine friendly WordPress is. WordPress claims to be ‘search engine friendly’ out of the box. But while WordPress allows you to publish content and have it crawled by search engines – the support for SEO success stops here. WordPress code, however, does follow SEO best practices.

While these are two really important factors that have an impact on your rankings, Google uses over 200 different factors to calculate search result rankings. So we know we have a long list of other aspects to work on and improve.

This is a great first step to help you improve your SEO, as Yoast SEO will help you with a lot of important SEO tasks. But please keep in mind, no tool will do what is your foremost job – create brilliant content. What Yoast SEO does do is help you optimize your content from a technical standpoint.

So while WordPress takes care of some of the basic SEO best practices out of the box, it still leaves room for improvement.

Quick SEO Tips for WordPress

Make sure all the critical aspects of your WordPress site are configured correctly from the get-go. For this, you’ll need to tweak some WordPress settings.

1. Check visibility settings

First check the search engine visibility box isn’t marked, as this can hide your site from search engines. You can check it in Settings > Reading.

Check visibility settings plesk

2. Use a search engine friendly URL structure

Search engines consider yoursite.com and www.yoursite.com to be two different websites. So you need to decide which one you’ll use when you set up your WordPress website. You can set your preferred URL under Settings > General for both WordPress Address and Site Address.

Use a search engine friendly URL structure Plesk

Make sure your website’s URL is human-readable and contains the keywords of your content. You can change the selection under Settings > Permalinks. Add /%category%/%postname%/ in Custom Structure. You also need to leave the Category base field empty, so that the title of your post or page is included in your URL automatically.

included in your URL automatically Plesk

3. Exclude pages from search engines

Search engines honor a clean information structure. To ensure crawlers exclude irrelevant pages (eg. login pages), simply add a robots meta tag with a noindex and/or nofollow attribute to the HTML code of a page.


<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"/>

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t make this easy. So you’ll either have to edit code or use a plugin.

4. Add schema.org for rich snippets

Google can add additional information, like review stars or images, to your page summary in the search result to make it more eye-catching. But you have to provide this information in a standardized schema.org format first.

Add schema.org for rich snippets Plesk

Some WordPress themes or specialized plugins provide the necessary markup you need to create a rich snippet. If not, you’ll need to edit the code yourself.

Assessing content quality and relevance

Once you configure the technical foundations correctly, you’re ready to create and publish content. Remember: Google honors content that answers a user’s question in the most relevant and complete way first. So,

  • Choose a keyword that’s relevant to your users, matches your content, and has enough search traffic. You can find lots of techniques and tools to support your research.
  • Create a good title and use it as a headline following best practices.
  • Create a readable text – paying attention to critical SEO signals: length, internal linking, use of headlines, use of keywords in headlines, and overall readability.
  • Use keywords in image captions, as well as title tags and alt tags for images.
Assessing content quality and relevance Plesk

You should also regularly assess the quality of your existing content. You can do this by updating content on a particular page, improving internal linking, or adding external backlinks.

Add XML Sitemaps

Google recommends you provide an XML sitemap for your website, containing links to all of the pages you want indexed. WordPress doesn’t come with XML sitemap support. So you’ll have to use a plugin, or create and update it manually. Don’t forget to submit it to Google via the Google Search Console.

Auditing the site

Because things can break or go wrong with your site, you should regularly check for common SEO issues, like:

  • Crawlability: Can the search engine spiders crawl every page you want to be indexed, or are they getting rejected?
  • Orphaned pages: Is every page linked to correctly, and do you provide enough links?
  • 404 errors: Are there any broken links in your site causing a ‘page not found’ error, or code 404?

Every site owner should register their website in the Google Search Console, as it checks everything from indexing and broken links to mobile problems. It also gives you visibility into the traffic you receive from the search engine.

Auditing the site plesk

Rank tracking

To track how your site is doing in terms of attracting traffic and converting users:

  • Keep an eye on your website’s ranking for all important keywords and pages.
  • Follow trends for critical KPIs (key performance indicators): eg. ranking in search engines, ranking for keywords, etc.
  • Compare your site’s performance with selected competitors, and see where your rankings for keywords are doing well.

By continuously analyzing meaningful indicators, you’ll get actionable insight into necessary site optimizations. You’ll also notice immediately if any trends develop on- or off-page. So you can act before something affects the success of your website.

SEO Tools and Best Practices

ongoing seo best practices plesk

You need SEO. Period. Although it can be tedious, you don’t actually need to be an expert to master SEO. If you configure your WordPress website correctly, craft your content well, and use essential SEO tools like Yoast and Plesk SEO Toolkit. Then you’re well equipped to manage SEO successfully for your website.

The Big Data Hosting Dilemma: Is Your Provider Solving it?

Big Data Hosting

You’ve probably heard of how data is like the oil of the digital economy. Last century, everyone wanted to invest in petroleum. Today it’s data that is one of the most valuable resource a business can invest in. Once you start drilling, you may find data in limitless volumes. Hence – “Big data”: the field that helps businesses identify and analyze the deluge of data at their fingertips. So that they can put it to effective use. So, what’s this about a big data hosting dilemma?

Big Data Needs Big Web Hosting

Unlike raw crude oil, data itself has no universal value. Therefore, if you have lots of data but no means of processing it and extracting value, it’s pretty much worthless. Big data is gaining wide popularity across many industries. Mainly because of its capabilities of capturing, storing, and processing data which lets businesses gain that competitive market edge.

However, as the name suggests, big data is all about complex functioning, massive data sets, and intricate multilevel processes. And so, businesses can only get as much out of big data as their hardware allows. To complement big data, you also need strong and dynamic servers that can support sophisticated computing, processing, and storage requirements.

That’s why web hosting companies are key in determining the success of a business’s move into big data. Here we’re exploring some of the best options for big data hosting providers. As well as explore how each can help you boost your big data operations.

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Amazon Web Services AWS - Big Data Hosting Provider

AWS enjoys the prime position (pun intended) in the big data hosting market. Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) for starters is one of Amazon’s most successful products. Clients love EC2 particularly for its exclusive capabilities and flexibility to scale.

The model lets you enjoy the maximum availability of resources to support fluctuating requirements. All without having to fork out package expenses. Because thanks to a PAYG (Pay as you go) approach, EC2 enables seamless scalability. Plus, it covers the two main bases you need for big data: performance and cost-efficiency.

Here’s a rundown of the main features of Amazon EC2 for supporting big data processing.

Amazon Elastic MapReduce:

Purpose-built and architected for massive data processing operations. EC2 and Amazon Simple Storage Services fuel its hosted Hadoop framework.

Amazon Dynamo DB:

A NoSQL (not only SQL) database service that’s fully managed and promises high tolerance against faults. With seamless scalability and independent provisioning capabilities, DynamoDB significantly reduces any need for active human intervention. Uncomplicated administration makes the experience convenient and smooth.

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3):

Though thin on features, the Amazon Simple Storage Service is especially for high scale performance and massive storage capacities. It supports seamless scalability by allowing you to insert data in buckets. You can also select specific regions for physically storing your data to address speed or availability issues.

Amazon High-Performance Computing (HPC):

This service supports sophisticated tasks with specific needs. High-end professionals like scientists and academics use HPC for its high performance and rapid delivery, along with other industries too. Mainly because of the rise of big data hosting providers. Undoubtedly, easy reconfiguration provisos and high workload capabilities are the main benefits of Amazon HPC.

Amazon Redshift:

The focus of Redshift is to provide extreme storage capabilities to deliver massive data warehousing. Of course, supported by the strong foundation of MPP architecture. With its high-security ecosystem and reliable performance, Redshift is a powerful substitute for in-house data warehousing. Its architecture aligns well with high-end business intelligence tools. Thus, saving businesses significant infrastructure costs and maintenance hassles – and allowing further boosts in performance.

Google Big Data Services

Google Big Data Services - Big Data Hosting - Plesk

Internet giant Google is another major cloud services player that seems to be especially designed for big data hosting. Firstly, as the leading search engine, Google boasts an in-depth and first-hand experience in big data processing. Secondly, it also possesses the most sophisticated infrastructure out there to support big data operations.

Here are a few of the major features you need to know about Google Big Data services:

Google Compute Engine:

Promising a powerful combo of security and scalability, Google Compute Engine is an advanced computing solution. With its energy-efficient model, it helps enterprises to quickly complete complex computing processes with greater accuracy. It also prevents load imbalance with its reliable workload management solutions.

Google Big Query:

As the name suggests, Google Big Query is a reliable solution for data querying requirements. It supports quick and error-free processing of SQL-like queries against massive data sets. Its specific functionalities make it ideal for presenting an impromptu report or seeking deeper analysis. One limitation to note is that you can’t alter your data once it gets into Big Query.

Google Prediction API:

A powerful machine-learning tool whose advanced features discover and memorize patterns from huge volumes of data. It’s a self-evolving tool, therefore, it gains new, deeper insights about a data pattern each time you use it. Google Prediction API also allows you to use the patterns for purpose-specific analysis. Hence, stuff like customer sentiments and the detection of cyber threats.

Microsoft Azure for Big Data Hosting

Microsoft Azure Big Data Hosting - Plesk

One more major contender in the big data hosting market is Microsoft. Microsoft’s advanced capabilities allowed it to develop sophisticated and sharp big data tech. It’s an especially good option for those who are familiar with its proprietary products like Windows, Net, and SQLServer.

Window AzureHDInsight:

While fully-compatible with Apache, adopting it can connect you with various business intelligence tools as well as Microsoft Excel. You can also deploy In Windows Server.

OpenStack for Big Data Hosting

OpenStack Big Data Hosting - Plesk

As a popular open-source platform for cloud computing, OpenStack is big in Big Data application and processes. It offers clients a choice between public and private clouds. But you do have to follow standard implementation as per the organization’s rules. OpenStack may also limit specific customization efficiency of more sophisticated requirements.

Although not as established as others in our big data hosting provider list, OpenStack has many advantages to offer:

  • A Democratic Approach: OpenStack has a more democratic approach to big data hosting. Once developed, this model could offer huge cost savings to clients.
  • Hardware-agnostic: OpenStack is a hardware-agnostic cloud platform capable of accommodating multiple tenants.
  • In Talks With Leaders: OpenStack is talking to leading computing businesses like IBM, Dell, and Cisco. It’s safe to say that it will spark a revolution in the big data industry.
  • Ubuntu Base: Using Ubuntu as its base, OpenStack is an open-source project that aims to enhance the benefits of big data by making it easier and more affordable to work with.
  • Backed by Rackspace: The project has backing from Rackspace and has Nasa as a partner. Rackspace has plans to launch an OpenStack Hadoop services based on the public cloud.
  • Validated by Hortonworks: The data software company Hortonworks validates OpenStack.

Choosing Your Big Data Hosting Provider

The value of data is growing. And as you would expect, the role of big data is growing along with it.

This innovative field has already helped large global companies achieve a competitive edge in the market. However, due to its heavy and complicated functionalities, a small business’ server is not able to support big data operations. Hence, to get the most out of big data, you need big data web hosting services.

Choosing the right web hosting provider is key in determining the efficiency of your big data operations. Use this guide to get an idea which ecosystem/server is right for your business. Then let us solve the big data dilemma once and for all.

The top five best web development YouTube Channels

Best Web Development Youtube Channels

To stay sharp as a developer, or even learn to code from scratch, you need to see examples. Also, explore new ideas and stay current. How do you get that done? Conferences, meetups, and events are one way. However, this can be an expensive approach. Alternatively? Use the best web development YouTube channels to get your info.

It’s full of other developers’ perspectives and tips. The web development Youtube videos in this roundup cover web development specifically. Basically everything you need to keep your products working and your customers happy.

The best Web Development YouTube Channels

1. The New Boston

The New Boston is at the top of the article for a reason. With an archive of more than 4,000 videos and nearly two million subscribers, there’s plenty to explore. Let’s highlight a few of the channel’s main playlists.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: The New Boston YouTube Channel

Best YouTube programming videos from The New Boston:

At the time of this writing, it has been over a year since The New Boston came out with a new video. In the meantime, their in-depth archive of short training videos – many are 5-15 minutes long – will get your hands dirty when working with new technologies.

2. Adam Khoury (Developer Training & Programming Courses)

With coverage of JavaScript, PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS, ActionScript and other technologies, this channel has been running for nearly ten years. The channel is solid in JavaScript with over 100 videos dedicated to the technology.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: Adam Khoury YouTube Channel

Best YouTube videos for developer training and programming courses:

3. Google Chrome Developers

As one of the most popular browsers today, it makes sense to keep up with the peeps from Chrome. In addition to Chrome-specific news, the channel also covers broader issues relating to web development. A few examples below.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: Google Chrome Developers YouTube Channel

Best YouTube videos from Google Chrome Developers:

4. LevelUpTuts (Become a Better Web Developer)

Open up your notebook when you visit this channel – it is a pure tutorial experience. If you are the kind of the person, who likes to take 15-30 minutes a day for professional development, check this channel out.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: Level Up Tutorials

This channel stands out for its technical breadth and depth with step by step demonstrations. You’ll even find a few tutorials covering Sketch, a popular design tool.

Best YouTube videos on LevelUp Tuts:

5. WPBeginner – WordPress Tutorials

Many web hosts offer one-click installation for WordPress. That’s just the beginning when it comes to using WordPress effectively. Use this channel’s tutorials to customize your WordPress site and improve performance. You’ll also find helpful tips to fix some of the most common WordPress errors.

Best Web Development Youtube Channels: WPBeginner WordPress Tutorials

Best YouTube videos for WordPress Beginners:

What’s next after watching YouTube?

Let’s face it, watching videos has become a part of all of our days. We get it, it’s a fun way to learn. But you need more after you’ve sat through our pick of the top tutorial-oriented videos from the best web development Youtube channels.

So just schedule 30 minutes on your calendar to tinker with the idea. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve added any of these top web development channels to your YT subscriber list. Or tell us if you agree with our list or not on Facebook and Twitter.

Google PageSpeed Insights – How to optimize your site to rank higher

So, you have a well-configured server but the performance of your website is poor. Your page response times (latency) are in the seconds and your server cannot handle more than 100 concurrent users. You’ve invested in SEO but you still feel that Google Search does not give you the ranking your site deserves. What do you do? How can Google PageSpeed Insights help you? Let’s start with the basics!

Performance is an important ranking factor

Good website performance is essential. A modern website does not just consist of some few static files, it is made up of front-end libraries and frameworks like Bootstrap. The more files a client has to download to render a complete page, the longer it’ll take a page to load. And the longer it takes for a page to load, the lower the ranking falls.

The impact of mobile

The other factor that is key to a website’s search ranking is its mobile-friendliness. Not only because mobile-friendly sites are optimized to load quickly on low throughput and high latency mobile connections, they also provide great user experiences.

A very popular framework to implement easily a responsive web design is Bootstrap, and even though Bootstrap is easy to use, it requires at least two more static files to be able to work. This means that we’re buying usability at the expense of loading performance. But don’t worry, I will explain how you can compensate for this small loss later in this article.

Google PageSpeed Insights helps to increase the performance

With PageSpeed Insights by Google, you can perform checks to identify areas of improvement and make your websites faster and more mobile-friendly within seconds – Both of which are key to get a pole position on Google Search.

Google PageSpeed Insights - Frontpage

You can use PageSpeed Insights for free from the project page, or follow our guide to install Google PageSpeed Insights Plesk Extension on your Plesk control panel.

Understanding PageSpeed Insights Recommendations

1. Avoid landing page redirects

Redirects can cause a perceptible latency if the request is redirected several times to the end point from where data is eventually sent to the client. Every redirect initiates another HTTP request-response action (with possible DNS lookups and TCP handshakes) which can dramatically decrease the site performance, especially on a mobile device with a slow internet connection.

A good example how to avoid redirects for mobile devices, is to use a modern, responsive design. An already mobile-optimized website does not require redirects to a dedicated subdomain for mobile devices.

Also make sure you redirect correctly in one step from http://example.com to https://www.example.com. People tend to just type the shortest form of your domain to the browser address bar – but your website should run with https only (for more security and better ranking) and most probably use www as subdomain.

SEO tip: 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS

HTTPS has become an important factor for the ranking in Google. Search engine prefers website that use the HTTPS protocol to ensure secure communications between the two endpoints, here the client and the server. Consider activating a 301 redirect option in on your domains once you’ve installed your SSL certificates.

For Plesk users, the Plesk extension Security Advisor will help you to activate free certificates for all you websites, and you can activate your 301 redirects through “Hosting Settings” on your dashboard.

Talking about redirects, Plesk supports the SEO-friendly 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS out of the box. This means, if you activate a free SSL certificate powered by Let’s Encrypt, Plesk will help you to switch to the secure protocol without losing the ranking power.

2. Enable compression

Always send content compressed with GZIP or Deflate to the client. This rule checks whether the source served compressible resources (such as HTML, images or JS / CSS files) with compression. Compression reduces the number of bytes transferred over the network up to 90%. This reduces the overall time to download all resources which leads to a faster loading time and better user experience.

Important for the compression usage is that both sides (both client and server) understand the applied compression algorithm. The so-called HTTP Header fields exchange the supported algorithms. If you want the know more about the network protocol HTTP, then please read my article about HTTP/2. Most modern browsers do already support compression out of the box. On the server-side you can use special modules, e.g. mod_deflate (Apache) or ngx_http_gzip_module (Nginx).

Plesk supports compression out of the box

Don’t worry, a Plesk server already pre-installs the required compression modules, you just have to activate this feature manually for all domains that should use compression. You can add the needed code into an .htaccess (Apache) or web.config (NGINX) in the root directory of your website or even easier directly in Plesk:

Go to “Websites & Domains” and select “Apache & nginx Settings”. If you use the Apache web server, then you will have to add the following code into the textarea under “Additional Apache directives”. Select the textarea “Additional directives for HTTPS” if you are using HTTPS else the first textarea.


AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain text/html text/xml;
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css text/javascript;
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml application/xhtml+xml;
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml;
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript application/x-javascript

If you use NGINX, then you have to add the following code into the text area “Additional nginx directives”.


gzip on;
gzip_vary on;
gzip_proxied any;
gzip_comp_level 6;
gzip_disable "msie6";
gzip_types text/plain text/css text/javascript text/xml application/json application/javascript application/x-javascript application/xml application/xml+rss;

Warning: The dynamic compression can affect the CPU in the way that you could lose the performance advantage of the compression due to long CPU processing. It does not make sense to set the compression level to the highest level because the gain in the file size is minimal compared to an average level but the CPU load and processing time is dramatically higher. Another improvement would be to cache already compressed files and deliver them directly without any compression processes involved.

3. Leverage browser caching

The loading of static files is time-consuming and expensive. The browser stores already downloaded resources in the cache storage of the browser. The server can define a specific caching policy with special headers. The local cache should provide the resources from the local cache instead of requesting them again from the server.

You can use two header fields in the response header: Cache-Control and ETag. With  Cache-Control you can define how long the browser can cache individual responses. ETag creates a revalidation token with which the browser can recognize file changes easily.

The browser should cache static files for at least one week. If you have files that don’t change regularly or at all, then you can increase the cache time up to one year.

4. Reduce server response time

PageSpeed Insights triggers this rule if the server does not respond within a certain time span (>200ms). The response time means the time that the browser needs to load the HTML code for the output. Many factors can have a negative effect on the response time.

The reason of a slow response time is not easy to solve without insight analysis. Possible factors for the delay could be caused by the server, such as slow CPU or memory starvation, or in the application layer, e.g. slow script logic, heavy database queries or too many libraries included.

The question is, how to find those bottlenecks? You could use the New Relic Extension to solve such issues or alternatively check your website with WebPageTest to see how browsers render the pages and which files slow your site down!

5. Minify HTML, CSS & JavaScript

The server can minify resources like the HTML code or JavaScript and CSS files before sending them to the browser. This saves many bytes of data which speeds up the download of the resources. Minification is the process of compacting the code without losing any information that the client requires to render the website properly.

Such optimizations contain for instance the removing of comments, unused code or unneeded whitespaces. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it manually, there are a lot of free tools or plugins that will do the job for you automatically. Just google it!

Note: If you look in such a minified file, you might think that this is not readable at all but for the computer it doesn’t make a difference. In fact, it is even better if the code is as compact as possible!

6. Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content

PageSpeed Insights triggers this rule if the browser loads JavaScript and CSS files even though the so-called above-the-fold content doesn’t need their code to create the proper output. This means that the browser can not render the HTML output as long as all external resources are not available completely.

An external resource is not necessarily a file from another server but an additional file in general that the client has to load on top the the HTML response to render the page properly. Rendering relevant JavaScript and CSS code can be added inlined. But this should be limited only to the absolutely necessary code parts. You should load not rendering critical JavaScript code asynchronously or deferred at the bottom of the page.

It also makes sense to concatenate all files into one single file (one file each for CSS and JavaScript) to reduce the amount of HTTP requests. In general, you should definitely activate HTTP/2 support on your server. The new version of the network protocol will have a very positive impact on the site performance. Read all about HTTP/2 and how to activate it in our blog post HTTP/2 – Increase your site performance!

7. Optimize images

If you have a lot of images on your website, then this could one of the biggest improvement potential. Optimizing images without an impact of the visual quality can reduce the file size significantly which in turn improves the download time and bandwidth usage drastically.

Many different possibilities exist to optimize images, e.g. resolution, image format or the quality settings. On many websites webmasters upload images in too high resolutions and thus with too large file sizes. PageSpeed Insights lists these files after the check with a percentage number of possible size saving for optimized variations of the same images.

Content-Delivery-Networks like CloudFlare (link to our extension) can optimize images automatically for you and bring them close to your customers. Be aware, this optimization feature requires a paid subscription. Of course, you can also optimize your images manually. Read this guide provided by Google: Optimize Images.

8. Prioritize visible content

This rule is similar to the render-blocking rule. PageSpeed Insights triggers it when additional network round trips are necessary to render the above-the-fold content of the loaded page. If visitors load this page over a slow connection (with high latencies), the additional network requests will create significant delays and degrade the user experience.

It is important to structure the HTML code that the critical content is loaded first. So, if you have a sidebar next to you article, then position the sidebar after the article in the HTML code so that the browser renders the article before the sidebar.

I’ve already mentioned the asynchronous JavaScript delivery, it is also possible to improve the CSS delivery strategy. Required CSS instructions in the visible content part can be loaded inlined directly in the HTML code and the rest deferred in one file after the rendering process.

Google PageSpeed Insights Plesk Extension

If you haven’t already done so, install the Google PageSpeed Insights Plesk Extension today and start improving your website performance and rankings.

Do you have tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.

Introducing Google PageSpeed Insights Plesk Extension

Google PageSpeed Insights Plesk Extension

Page performance is important for search engine rankings

Website performance is one of the things search engines look at to decide how to rank your page. Especially with the increasing number of visitors constrained by low throughput and high latency browsing on mobile devices, every second it takes to load a page matters.

What is Google PageSpeed Insights?

With PageSpeed Insights by Google you can perform checks to identify measurements to make your websites faster and more mobile-friendly within seconds. And this is also key to get a pole position in Google Search. The tool analyzes the delivered content of your website and makes suggestions to improve it.


Google PageSpeed Insights


You can use PageSpeed Insights for free from the project page. Enter your domain into the text field and click on the “ANALYZE” button. The service will review the entered URL and make some pre-defined performance rule checks to create an overall rating. The best score of 100 requires an optimized website that passes all performance rules successfully!

Read this article to find out how to use and understand Google PageSpeed Insights recommendations. 

Google PageSpeed Insights Plesk Extension

Google PageSpeed Insights Extension

Measuring website performance once isn’t enough. So we’ve created the Google PageSpeed Plesk Extension so you can quickly and directly run the checks regularly within Plesk – no more leaving the Plesk Interface and opening external pages to generate a detailed report.

The Google PageSpeed Plesk Extension not only gives administrators the rights to run a test, your customers or employees with normal user permission rights can also gain access to this extension. This is a great service feature for your customers if you are using Plesk as your control panel on your servers!

Main features of the Plesk extension

  • Check all your domains within seconds
  • Detailed report page with many improvement suggestions
  • Custom button to start check process and show ratings directly
  • Download optimized static files directly after the check
  • Store results and displays an overview page
  • For both administrators and end customers

Google PageSpeed Insights - Result page

If Google PageSpeed Insights can compress static files further, then the extension will show a download link to an archive with optimized files. Download the files and replace them on your web server (don’t forget to backup first) and improve the download performance for your visitors! This feature is also provided by Google.

Plesk Extension - Google PageSpeed Insights - Custom Button

Get your website performing even better today. Get the Google Pagespeed Insights Plesk extension here, or install it directly from your Plesk Extension Panel.

And don’t forget to read our article on how to use and understand Google PageSpeed Insights. 

Have fun optimizing your web projects and stay Plesky!