Slow and Steady Wins the Race… sometimes.
But not when it comes to Mobile Friendly Web Design.
Mobile devices are slower than PCs. They tend to have less computing power, limiting the speed in which they can display information. The average mobile page typically takes more than 7 agonizing SECONDS to load. Why is this important to web designers? In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones. So our mobile visitors can no longer be ignored.
How do we speed up our websites for our mobile visitors?
First, Utilize Page Speed Tools
- GTMetrix – This page analysis tool will help you develop a faster and more efficient website experience for your users.
- Google’s Page Speed Insights – This page speed tool measures the performance of a page for (1) mobile devices and (2) desktop devices, fetching the URL twice. The PageSpeed Score ranges from 0 to 100 points.
- Pingdom Website Speed Test – This Website Speed Test will tell you your page’s load time and your page size, helping you establish a baseline for improvement.
The results of your page speed tests can be pretty discouraging at first. Try GTMetrix before you attempt to look at Google’s Page Speed Insights.
We can all improve our page speed scores.
First, let’s pay attention to the HTTP requests that are made to the web server when a visitor tries to load one of our web pages. The more HTTP requests made to the server plus the amount of time it takes for each element on a page to render, the slower a website will be.
Images can be a huge factor in the speed of your site. It is important to consider every image that goes into your site. Consider removing any images that are not essential to your design and make sure to always optimize them for the web. If you are working in Photoshop, this is as simple as selecting the “save for web” option and adjusting your image settings to create the smallest file possible that is not also pixelated or blurry.
Another Image Optimizing Tool besides Photoshop
- Smush.it – Smush.it uses optimization techniques specific to image format to remove unnecessary bytes from image files.
Combine CSS files
Loading multiple CSS files can also hurt a website’s load time. Combine as many stylesheets as you can into one file.
A Note about WordPress
If you have a WordPress website, you are probably familiar with Plugins. You know how to install them and activate them. But did you know that WordPress pages can be slowed to a crawl by these Plugins?
Be sure to check your Plugins folder and see what Plugins you are not using. If you find some, you should deactivate them and remove them. Often times Plugins that have not been deactivated will still load on your page. Only use Plugins that you really need.
In the classic tale of the Tortoise and the Hare, the Tortoise eventually wins the race through persistence and determination. He plods along step by step until he finally reaches the finish line. But your website visitors, though, sympathetic towards the underdog in any race, will not be so patient and understanding when it comes to visiting a website. A speedy website is likely to win against its competitors. In the mobile-friendly race, SPEED MATTERS.