9 Quick Steps to Improve Website Speed on Mobile

19th Oct 2019 Posted By Faheem Ahmed

Mobile phones have accounted for half of all website traffic in 2019 to date – which indicates that people are more likely to visit your site on a mobile than they are on a laptop or PC. Therefore, having your website work flawlessly on mobile phones is quintessential to increasing conversion rates and boosting sales. Although people are more likely to visit your website via mobile, they’re less likely to stay on it and will back away if it’s too slow to load.

Google reports observe a 32% increase in bounce rates when the load time of a page increased from 1 second to 3 seconds.

Hence, a fast loading site is vital for business success. Even the best of businesses are at risk of losing potential clients and customers because their site is slow to load or not optimized for an excellent mobile UX. Nonetheless, speeding up a website is not very difficult and can be done with these 9 quick steps. These are some basics that we apply each day to deliver ideal mobile experiences and drive higher conversions in the long run.

How to Improve Website Speed on Mobile

#1 Clutter Down Server Requests

Server requests are essentially file download requests made by your site’s HTML and CSS files. These are the files that create the foundation for your website’s design. Requests are made to pull images, scripts (for animated banners, call-to-actions, and stylesheets. Typically, the requested elements load one after the other, which means having more requests on your site leads to longer loading times.

There a few ways of reducing loading speeds. 

  • Package a few elements to download together.
  • Replace simple gradient and shadow images with CSS.
  • Place your scripts at the bottom of the page, so they load later on.

#2 Always Use CDNs for Added Speed and Performance

Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) can give your website a huge SEO boost and significantly improve load times. It is made possible with the strategic positioning of servers. CDNs place their servers at critical exchange points in different networks. The resultant faster performance is due to:

Top-notch Hardware and Software Optimization – CDNs have solid server-side infrastructure and their storage devices are optimized to efficiently balance requests from different sites.

Distance Reduction – The client and server have less distance between them, making for faster data transfer.

Using a CDN is a lot more plausible since it is both powerful and affordable, and creates more value for your website than a local web host can.

#3 Use CSS Sprites to Reduce Load from Rich Media

Another great trick that reduces loading times significantly is using a CSS sprite sheet. It circumvents the need to download many different images when the site loads. Instead, a single and slightly large image is used that contains all of the different images visitors see across the page.

Using CSS Sprites enables a website to handle greater traffic for the same amount of hardware and bandwidth resources – since fewer HTTP download requests are made.

Creating a CSS Sprite can be done on any image editing program. All you need to do is make a grid of pixels, and add images to the grid. You can then use CSS to add indexes to the image and upload the element to your page.

#4 Use Image Compression

Images don’t need to retain their original resolutions to be seen without distortion on your website. Most images look clear even when they’re reduced to 20% of their original sizes. Reducing the size of images is a fantastic way to optimize your site’s loading time– cutting down on those extra pixels will save your visitors much bandwidth and make the website load much, much faster.

You must make sure that the image is sized to precisely meet the website’s spatial requirements.

Letting the browser auto-optimize by scaling the image down will impact loading speed.

Another thing you must watch out for are non-standard color models like CMYK – these increase the image’s size since these models hold more data and hence, require more space to be stored. Make sure all your images are converted to the sRGB model before you put them up. You don’t require Photoshop to make these adjustments – a free alternative like GIMP or an online application like Canva will get the job done.

If you want your visitors to see a high-quality picture of the product, create an option for them to see the full-resolution picture on another separate page.

It is also vital that you name your images correctly. Using the right names make for easier maintenance in the long run; also, using relevant keywords to name images improves the website’s SEO rating.

#5 Use Browser Cache

When a person visit’s your website, a copy of the website’s basic layout and graphics are stored onto their device by their browser.

This is called browser caching.

When the person revisits your website later, the layout and graphics do not have to be downloaded again, which makes for faster loading. Using browser caching can give your website a huge speed boost – loading times can become up to 50% faster.

Setting up browser caching correctly requires a lot of optimization; however when caching is done right, it yields incredible results. The process of utilizing browser caching for your website depends on the content management system you use. Nonetheless, you must design your caching strategy carefully. Store all the vital loading data on the visitor’s device the first time they visit your website.

#6 Minimise CSS, HTML & JavaScript

CSS, HTML, and JavaScript are the three pillars that make your site tick.

They are what makes your site look as good as it should according to current standards.

However, it is vital to ensure that the code is crisp, and there is no unnecessary data. The code must be checked exhaustively – and every redundant line, including all unnecessary white spaces, must be removed. Rigorous assessments will reduce your webpages load times even further. Some tools can help you with optimizing the different sects of your site’s inner workings.

Tools like JSMin, JSCompress, and YUI Compressor help you minimize your JavaScript.

CleanCSS optimizes the CSS on your site, and a simple browser extension like PageSpeed Insights generates an optimized version of your site’s HTML code.

Before you start to minimize the code, make sure that you have a backup ready in case the code starts to break mid-inspection.

#7 Leverage the Power of AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are stripped-down versions of the original website.

AMPs have lighter HTML code, which makes them load much, much faster than the standard site. AMPs do not need the extra fluff since they’re designed to deliver just the raw details. It means that an AMP circumvents the extra CSS requests, large images, and even call-to-action buttons.

It attracts visitors searching for products on mobile easily. Since search engines have markers for mobile-optimized pages, and AMPs are built to land on them. Adopting an AMP approach is excellent for SEO ratings as well. It is because search engines rank websites with AMPs higher than those without one.

Google’s AMP Project is a powerful open-source initiative that gives webmasters the power to leverage such shortcode without having to work through all the technicalities.

Google also enables features like Analytics and Ads – which make managing and monetizing your AMP pages efficient and effective.

Mind you, the AMP Project is still under development, and if you decide to use it, make sure that you check for new features and tools regularly.

#8 Use Mobile Compatible CMS like WordPress

A Content Management System is a great way to manage and distribute your content all across online devices. They supply a better solution than a web hosting company since they have servers all across the globe – each of which holds a copy of your content locally.

It implies that a potential customer visiting your site from Europe gets their copy of the site from the nearest server – making fast load times a fundamental standard for your website regardless of where it is accessed from.

On the other hand, a web hosting company would not have network architecture as large and powerful as a CMS. It won’t be able to cater to the same visitor as quickly since all data suffers from latency.

#9 Lazy Loading and Web Fonts

The idea behind lazy loading is that media like images and videos load after the rest of the website is loaded.  This gives the user the impression that the website loaded quickly, while it continues to load more data as they go through the page.

Using Web Fonts is a great way to add flair and style to your website. However, non-standard fonts require additional HTML code, which makes your site slower to load.

You can go back and change web fonts to standard ones, which will make the site load faster. If you’re in the process of building or redesigning a website, make sure you limit your options as much as possible.

The first step to making your website faster is finding out its current performance – which can be done by using tools like ThinkWithGoogle and Sucuri Load Time Tester.

Having your site load quickly must be top priority – it is more important than the website’s design style and complexity.

Ideally, the website should load in three seconds or less. It immediately increases your chances of making a sale or acquiring a client. Also, having a low server request count makes the site swift to load and use.

Following these steps will not only speed up loading time but also increase your website’s SEO – which boosts visibility since the site pops up higher on the search listings.