Mobile vs Desktop speed: G Console

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Hi all, quick question regarding google search console speed reports.

I seem to have quite a few slow mobile URLs but no slow desktop URLs. I’m not sure how such a discrepancy is possible as they’re both served from the same server.

I’m using Wordpress on siteground and Thrive Rise theme (which is responsive) and no other plugins special for mobile. So shouldn’t the desktop and mobile speeds be the same?

What do you generally find makes the most noticeable improvement in terms of speed in such configurations (WP + Responsive themes)?

Thanks,
Alex
 

Stones

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Hey Alex, the speed reports given via the search console are often very inaccurate. Did you test the pages via lighthouse or tools.pingdom.com

For WordPress a good caching plugin is usually sufficient to beat the competition and @CCarter highly recommends hosting on a VPS such as linode to improve TTFB.

There has been lots of discussion on site speed and ways to improve it on here with some great advice. I am on mobile at the moment so I can't point you in the right direction except to Google

site:buildersociety.com site speed

Maybe someone else can row in with a bit more detail.
 

Ryuzaki

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@cochiloco, the discrepancy comes from the fact that Google emulates the speeds of the lowest common denominator. Meaning that while nobody is really on dial up speeds any more on desktop, non-wifi mobile speeds are still fairly slow in many parts of the world (3G speeds). So Google emulates that speed and bandwidth when running mobile tests.

Scoring highly on the mobile speed test is much more difficult than desktop, often impossible for most websites. I recommend reading the entire Page Speed Optimization day in the Crash Course to gain an understanding of what issues need to be tackled.
 
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Mobile score is always much lower for all of my websites with PageSpeed Insights. I consider anything above 50 as suitable, desktop should be 90+, though.

There's no one thing that gives huge improvement, they all take their part for me: LazyLoading, Preload Caching, CDN usage, image optimization, inlining CSS.

The funny part is that for many of my websites the services that significantly slow down and lower the scores are: youtube (js), google fonts, recaptcha and analytics.
 
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There seems to be some confusion in here as to where the GSC speed data comes from. Nothing is emulated. It doesn't use Lighthouse or PageSpeed Insights. While speed testing tools are great for understanding the speed of your site, the report in Google Search Console is using actual usage data from the Chrome User Experience report.

The reason you're seeing a discrepancy is likely because mobile connections and processing isn't as quick. As far as I know, Google isn't using this actual speed report for any ranking purposes; for that, they are relying on their simulated data and/or the speed at which they can crawl and render the page.

Some of these responses tackle your question, though. Consider that images and videos are probably going to be your two largest sources of slowdowns. Make sure all of your images and iframes have the attribute loading="lazy". I'd also recommend a CDN. I like Imgix because you can add parameters to call specific dimensions, compress the file with no noticeable loss, and serve next-gen formats on the fly. If you don't want to use a CDN, at the very least, make sure you are running your images through some sort of file compression to lighten the load. I like https://shrinkme.app/.