Published: 13th Sep 2016

Leveraging Kentico for Google Page Insights

Matt Sutherland - Head of Technology

In today’s varied market, page speed is now integral to a successful user experience. In fact google now penalise sites that they deem to have a low page performance ranking. 

You can test how Google views your page performance using their insights tool and you can also see a list of the rules that you are being benchmarked against in the page insights reference documentation.

With all of this in mind it is necessary for your CMS of choice to support you and enable you to achieve the performance levels that you desire.

Here are a few key ways in which we utilised the Kentico CMS on a recent project to make sure our Page Insights ranking was as high as possible.

Firstly, so that you’re in the right place, within the settings application in your admin panel navigate to the 'system' menu item, and then there is a section called 'performance'.

Output Caching

Enabling output caching allows you to send down a cached version of the web page rather than having to render the page, run any code, and run any database queries on each request of the page. Instead you send down a cached version of that output which dramatically reduces the processing that your server will need to do and therefore increases performance.

In Kentico you can enable this setting and state how long you would want the cache to exist.

Output

Enable Output Compression

Pretty self-explanatory but this will allow you to compress the HTML output rendered by Kentico.

This action will help you achieve the Enable Compression rule, as per the insights rule list on the link above.

Client-side file caching

This essentially allows browser caching for files such as images, javascript and CSS. Kentico allows you to enable revalidation which basically checks whether you need a new version of the file once your cache has expired and only requests it if the file does indeed need updating.

In order to meet the requirements of Page insights you have to have browser caching set to at least a month. Kentico lets you specify how many minutes you would like to hold the client cache therefore you need to set this to 44,640, which is equivalent to 31 days!

Client

Resource Compression

Kentico also allows you to manage your resource compression from within the CMS. You will of course actually have to create minified versions of your files should you wish to use it, but these three checkboxes allow you to turn these settings on and off. This can be really useful when moving between environments and you perhaps want to be able to debug your CSS with ease on your non production environments.

Resources

Outside of Kentico

This is just a short list of performance improvements that can be achieved using Kentico and help increase your insights score. There are many further suggestions that you will need to achieve without the help of your CMS to really get the best score. We have put together further guidelines on our Github which should help you meet some of those additional requirements.

Performance is a constantly changing facet of the web and one that we are passionate about. If you would like to talk to us about what we can do for your sites performance get in touch.