My Failed Attempt to Add Google Pagespeed Insights

Google Pagespeed Insights is a WordPress plugin that was supposed to tell me about the load times on my pages and give me “insights” into how to speed things up.

Well, after fiddling around with it for 45 minutes or so, I finally hit a brick wall.

To save others the pain, I thought I should write it up!

* Install Google Pagespeed Insights plugin – check! Easy, fast, no problem.

* Give it a Google API key. Stumbling block.

* Go to Google Cloud Console. Attempt to get an API key. Be unclear as to which API key you’re supposed to be using — server or browser. Try first one API key, then the other. Wonder what all this talk of ‘billing’ is and if you’ve somehow signed up to get billed for things, even though Google doesn’t have your credit card info (or does it?). Figure out you have to turn Pagespeed ‘on’. Turn it on. Try again. Fail.

* Find detailed instructions for finding the API key. Try to follow them. Fail, because Cloud Console is different now and there’s no such thing as ‘Simple API key’. Try to find new instructions that say ‘browser’ or ‘server’. Keep finding instructions about ‘simple’, including screenshots that don’t match the new Cloud Console.

* Try to figure out how to revert the Cloud Console to the old version. Give up. Sign up with a different Google login so presented with the option to use the old version.

* Attempt to turn on Pagespeed in this new account. See it says, not on-off, but ‘Request access’. Click link.

* Get a ‘we have moved’ error for the link. Get redirected to a form to request access to Pagespeed.

* Finally discover that you can’t automatically get access to it except by invitation.

* Get annoyed. But especially get annoyed because the Plugin page and Plugin support page didn’t tell you that. Get especially especially annoyed because Google’s new Cloud Console didn’t tell you that! Add more exclamation points because you’re extra annoyed just writing about it!!

* Deactivate the plugin.

* Delete the plugin.

* Write post about your misadventures.

Then finally…

* Belatedly realize there’s a tiny small, faint link on the bottom to revert back to the old console.

* Consider requesting access to it. But wonder if it’s really worth it. You know to use small filesizes for images.

* Publish post.

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