Not every small business website or blog can compete with the tactics of major websites like Forbes or Amazon. But sometimes those big names will stumble across revolutionary information or breakthroughs which anyone can capitalize on. One of the most important metrics like this for 2015 and 2016 was website speed. The techs at Amazon realized that for every hundred milliseconds they could increase the page-speed of their website, their revenues went up approximately one percent.
It was shortly after that Google announced that page speed had an impact on SEO rankings, and that its complex ranking algorithm would be factoring in speed. But while many webmasters have found clever ways to improve their website’s speed on desktop and laptops… it’s often a much harder chore to speed up a website for mobile. Some websites just load differently (and sometimes with more difficulty) on different mobile devices, and complex elements can drag down loading speed.
We’ve put together some of the best actionable tips and tricks to improve your site’s speed on mobile devices. All said and done, implementing most of these items shouldn’t take a competent webmaster more than an hour. And if you’re not confident enough in your code-wrangling skills, you can always get a web design company to do it for you.
Learn Where You Stand
How fast is your website on mobile, currently? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. While the most straightforward way to test this is to pull your website up on your own smartphone, it can be difficult to mentally gauge the seconds it takes for the website to fully load. Websites like Pingdom, Google PageSpeed, or GTMetrix can all help to analyze your website’s mobile speed and performance. A great rule of thumb is that a website loading in 1 second or less is ideal. Anything up to 3 seconds is mediocre, and any loading time in excess of 3 seconds should be considered unacceptable.
Use a content delivery provider or network
If your website has a lot of articles, a lot of pages, a lot of videos, images, gifs, or other heavy content, the vast majority of your website’s bandwidth is likely being taken up by requests for all this information. A content delivery network (sometimes called a CDN) works by storing all of those files remotely, reducing load on a single server: the one your website is hosting on.
Wonderfully, using a CDN doesn’t just speed up your website; but they can help beef up its security, as well. A good CDN can reduce the likelihood of a DDoS attack or other errors returned because of high traffic loads.
Use fast hosting
Not all hosting companies stack up the same where service is concerned: that’s a well-known fact. But fewer people realize that different hosting companies deliver different speed rates. If you want to make certain your website is performing to the best of its abilities, pick a great host that can guarantee fast speeds. Godaddy and Bluehost are among the slowest competitors, with the average page speed in excess of 500 milliseconds. The fastest hosts include Inmotion, WP Engine, and A2 Hosting, all with average page load speeds around 200 ms or less.
Cache the right way
If you’ve been concerned about speed, you’ve probably already engaged in caching of some kind. Especially if you’re on a WordPress framework, there are dozens of plugins which allow you to easily begin caching. In all cases, though, you should ensure that you maximize browser caching with expires headers, setting expiration dates for roughly a week. They’ll make certain that visitors don’t need to download the same collateral twice, and they’ll reduce requests to your server.
Why is it important?
You might have noticed that a lot of traffic to your website is coming from mobile sources. According to some sources, mobile traffic already accounts for over 50% of all web traffic. If you want your website or business to grow in this changing atmosphere, you’ll need to cater to mobile users. Taking the steps to ensure your website is lightning-fast and ahead of the curve can put you in a strong position compared to your competition.