Make Your Mobile Website Freaky Fast

Posted in Website design

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Have a clock or watch with a second hand? Watch seven seconds pass. In that time, Andy Green was able to travel almost 1.5 miles. It’s also the average time it takes for a mobile web page to load. Pretty slow, right?

Nobody likes slow websites. But you don’t have to be a Google scientist to know that. Have you ever waited for a site to load? It’s aggravating. And slow-loading sites are especially annoying when you’re trying to access them from mobile devices (i.e. smartphones, tablets, etc).

If you’re a lawyer who relies on her website or blog for business development, lack of speed can mean losing a client.

Furthermore, for some time now, Google has used site speed as a ranking factor in its algorithms. Which means that slow sites may be at a disadvantage in terms of appearing prominently in search results.

So, in terms of web marketing, speeding up your website, especially on mobile devices, should be a top priority.

Fortunately, Google has recently announced new guidelines and an updated PageSpeed Insights tool to help us optimize our mobile pages. In fact, with the following best practices, you can get sub-second rendering of above-the-fold content on mobile networks:

  • Server must render the response (< 200 ms)
  • Number of redirects should be minimized
  • Number of roundtrips to first render should be minimized
  • Avoid external blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
  • Reserve time for browser layout and rendering (200 ms)
  • Optimize JavaScript execution and rendering time

Sweet.

The bottom-line: high performance websites lead to higher visitor engagement, retention and conversions.

You should be regularly testing and monitoring your site speed and page load times. You also need to keep your eye on back-end performance including web servers, network connections, CDNs and back-end database servers.

Don’t rely on visual spot-checking to test your site’s speed. There are a variety of reasons why your site may appear faster for you than it does for other people.

If this is all Greek to you, send this post to your webmaster, IT department, or SEO. They should be on top of these issues.