Spree Sites and Google's Page Speed Standards: Are They Meeting Expectations?

Sep 12, 2016

A study of 680 sites built on the Spree OS platform reveals nearly all are mobile friendly, but only a handful achieved a mobile speed score high enough to be considered by Google as performing well.

In 2015 Google started expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change affected mobile searches in all languages and had a significant impact on their search results. Site speed has been a factor in search rankings since 2010.

In April, Google announced that, for the first time, more searches took place on mobile devices than on computers.

Shopify says that mobile now accounts for more than half of all ecommerce traffic.

Given the ever-growing importance of mobile commerce we set out to determine how well Spree sites were performing. We used builtwith.com to generate a list of 1,734 Spree sites. To improve the accuracy of the list we identified 680 sites containing “spree” in the source code.

Using Google PageSpeed Insights we looked at scores for mobile friendly, mobile speed, and desktop speed.

The 680 sites averaged

  • 92.7/100 score for mobile friendly
  • 56.6/100 for mobile speed
  • 66.8/100 for desktop speed

A higher score is better, and a score of 85 or above indicates the page is “performing well.” Although most sites earned the “mobile friendly” designation, page speeds for both mobile and desktop largely failed to meet Google’s standards.

Only a handful of the 680 sites achieved a mobile speed score over 80.

Mobile Friendly

A page earns Google’s “mobile-friendly” label if it:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices (like Flash)
  • Uses text that’s readable without zooming
  • Displays content so users don't have to zoom or scroll horizontally
  • Spaces links apart so the correct one can be easily tapped

88 (12.9%) of the Spree sites failed the mobile friendly test 592 (87.1%) met the criteria and are considered “mobile friendly”.

Mobile Speed

Google recommends mobile pages render in under one second. Research shows that anything slower interrupts the user’s flow of thought and creates a “poor experience.”

Because network connections vary considerably, PageSpeed considers only network-independent aspects of page performance. Google bases their mobile speed score on ten rules.

  1. Avoid landing page redirects
  3. Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  5. Leverage browser caching
  7. Enable compression
  9. Minify CSS
  11. Minify HTML
  13. Minify JavaScript
  15. Optimize images
  17. Prioritize visible content
  19. Reduce server response time

Only 4 out of 680 sites earned a score of 80/100 or above. Congratulations to three top ranking Spree sites for mobile speed: smart-mart.org, elevenshop.gr, and spree.co.za.

Desktop Speed

Even though mobile search has overtaken desktop, speed for desktop machines is still vitally important. Google’s rules are the same. And making your site faster on desktops will by default make it faster on mobile devices too.

Congratulations to three top ranking Spree sites for desktop speed: tonastodin.is, becon.my, and sport-destock.com.

You can test your website with Google’s free tools here.

Interested in know how your site ranks in the study? Could you use some assistance from our team of Spree/Solidus experts? Please get in touch!

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