In this day and age, more than 60% of visitors to your website come via mobile devices (i.e. smartphones, tablets). It’s become important to cater to their needs and set up mobile-friendly websites.
However, one of the biggest issues modern websites face is their loading time. Too many websites take 5+ seconds to load on mobile devices, which can be cumbersome and simply inefficient. Visitors don’t want to wait around and are going to leave if the load time is slow. Therefore, it’s best to look at the following practices to keep your load time under one second.
4 Ways to Speed Up Your Mobile Website
1) Optimize or Remove Media-Rich Content
Yes, images and videos are an integral part of your website but they’re also damaging to the load time. When a page is full of large, slow-loading images/videos, the results are going to be horrific.
You want to focus on this aspect of the website before doing anything else!
In essence, you should look to remove these images and only keep the most important ones. However, if these images are important, it’s best to look at solutions such as Google’s WebP format to optimize their file size. This specific format is used for images that are placed on mobile-friendly websites. As long as you save the file in this format, it’s not going to be as intensive as a JPEG file.
2) Don’t Use Redirects
A common mistake is to use “.m” redirects for your domain.
This does more harm than good. Since the website has to redirect, it takes time to load and that’s a complete waste. Instead, the website should remain on the main domain.
Redirects are simply inefficient and not in line with modern digital standards. To make sure the website is mobile-friendly, you want to use a template that works for all devices whether it’s a desktop or a smartphone.
3) Eliminate Excessive CSS Coding
This may work in some situations but can become the main contributor to a slow-loading website. You want to get rid of unnecessary fluff in your coding and make sure it’s kept as simple as possible. Of course, this is going to take time to master and there’s a certain amount of time needed to get things spot on. However, the investment of your time and effort will be well worth it when visitors stick around!
To make sure the coding is good, it’s best to make use of the “above the fold” solution. This is one of the best ways to make sure the CSS coding is in line with mobile-friendly websites and functions appropriately.
There are several guides online on how to do this properly!
4) Test the Loading Time
How do you know the site isn’t loading as it’s supposed to?
Yes, you want to test the website’s performance to see what’s going on and whether changes are required. If the website is taking more than 2-3 seconds to load then you’re not doing enough. It should take less than a second to load. Anything more and it’s best to find ways to make improvements.
For the testing phase, it’s best to make use of Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool as it’s used by some of the largest websites in the world. They have perfected this tool and it’s a great option to have up your sleeve.
4) Lazy Loading
This is a unique technique that’s become common over the past few years.
In essence, the images/videos on your website only load when a visitor scrolls past them. For example, if they were to load a website, these images would show up as gray boxes until “activated” by the visitor. This is a good way to have the website ready to go as soon as it’s typed in the search bar. For mobile devices, this goes a long way in cutting down the loading time.
Lazy loading works because people don’t mind the gray boxes. The image still loads up and they’re able to go through the website without having to wait around. It’s a win-win for everyone and you can still keep important images on the website.
Of course, you want to make sure this is done the right way. To do this, you should look at tutorials and make sure the “lazy loading” technique is implemented correctly.
Keeping the attention of the visitors to your website starts with making the experience of visiting your site easy with fast loading times. Use these four suggestions to load your mobile website in under one second. By making these subtle changes, your website will be in good shape and will work well on mobile devices for years to come. The added bonus is that fast loading times will help your ability to rank on Google/Bing!