A good-performing mobile website is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.
To access the vast array of services offered by the internet, an average man is more likely to use a smartphone than any other device. A major reason behind the increased use of smartphones over desktops while using the internet could be attributed to the ease with which one can use a mobile phone without compromising on performance. It is for this reason that modern-day websites require to adapt to what is called a ‘mobile-first approach’ while developing and designing their website.
Why do you need a mobile-first approach?
Websites that don’t work smoothly on mobile leave a bad impression of the company on the users who may leave it for their competitors. A mobile-first approach essentially refers to the development of a website according to the mobile phones (which have smaller screen sizes) rather than developing it for a desktop (the old approach).
Websites contain multiple elements like pop-ups and plug-ins which use the limited screen space of a user’s smartphone. Apart from making the website slow (and sometimes unresponsive) and untidy, these elements fight against the star elements (Eg-sign-up, etc.) for screen space.
Therefore, not optimizing your website for mobile phones could lead to lower conversion among mobile users. A mobile-first approach ensures a smooth journey for the visitors, which starts with a quick loading speed.
Why is page speed important?
When operating a business through the internet, you have to pay special attention to your visitor activity. This would include the major navigation problems that they face, the visibility of their star elements, the ease or difficulty in acting, and the device they are using to visit the website.
Although an increased loading speed may not impress a user a slow one might give the user a bad first impression and a possible reason to exit your website. You are required to pay extra attention to the loading speed of the website while using smartphones.
Increasing your website’s loading speed will prevent users from exiting in the very first minute and enhance the page’s search rank which in turn will then attract more users. You can measure the page speed score of your website using Pagespeed Insights, which checks for the health and performance of your website across all devices.
Tips to increase the responsiveness of your website for mobile users
Given below are some tricks that we used for f1studioz (and you can emulate) to reach a Pagespeed Insights score of 85+ across mobile devices.
Add CSS effectively by using min media query
Media queries could be used to decrease the loading time of the page as it would load a layout according to the screen size. By effectively using media queries, you can remove the heavy and not-so-important CSS files (or delay their rendering) to make sure that the page’s immediate content (the content visible without scrolling) does not take time to load.
Add all cross-browser compatible CSS
Each browser has a CSS rendering engine that interprets the CSS file of that file in a particular manner. To decrease the deviances in cross-browser experience and give users a seamless user experience across all browsers, you are required to add CSS files that are interpreted in the same manner by different CSS engines, including WebKit (the rendering engine used by Safari).
Club small CSS and JS files
Clubbing all the small CSS and JS files would significantly reduce the rendering time as the browser would not have to send separate network requests for each file.
Minify CSS and JS files
Using Preload fonts
Using preload, a web developer can control which elements of the page could load first. Preload fonts can quickly present the information that the users are looking for without making them wait for the whole page to load.
Webfonts that load fast and smooth with cross-browser compatible Image
Web fonts, stored on the web server, are downloaded by the browser while rendering the web page, which decreases the load time of the overall page.
Optimize Image Resolution (Mobile, Tablet & Desktop)
The image resolution required for devices with big screens (like desktops and tablets) is larger than for mobile phones. A web developer can increase the responsiveness of his page by adjusting the image resolution per the device’s requirement.
Using the optimal image as per screen size through picture tag
It is important to align the image on your webpage with the device it’s running on. A non-responsive image makes the page appear untidy and conveys a bad impression to the visitor. Websites can use picture tags to create responsive images that would adjust the image for a smaller screen.
Optimizing an image could immensely impact the loading speed of a page as images consume the most data on the webpage. You should serve images that are appropriately sized for the device and cellular network without compromising much with their quality.
Convert Images to Webp
One of the best ways to decrease the size of an image is by converting it into Webp format. Significantly smaller than other image formats like PNG and JPEG, Webp helps developers add images to the website which have the same resolution as the original image but is smaller in size. The small size of Webp images makes them easier to download and reduces data consumption)
Add lazyload on images
Images, because of their bigger size, could be lazy-loaded to prevent the visitor from exiting the page. Lazy loading of your pictures would make them appear on the page only when they are required (Eg-scrolling). This would save a lot of loading time as all the images are not required at once.
Set an explicit width and height on image elements to reduce layout shifts and improve Cumulative Layout Shift Video
CMS refers to the total movement(unexpected) that occurs while the page is in use. These movements often act as a cause of distraction for visitors. Using the height and Width attribute to set the dimensions of the image explicitly would lead to a decreased Cumulative Layout Shift.
Other tips include
- Optimizing video and using Youtube video Cache
- Serve static assets with an efficient cache, Add cache on CSS, JS, image, font file, and video files (A long cache lifetime can speed up repeat visits to your page)
- Use defer and async on JS files Font
Businesses should frequently check the responsiveness of their websites to diagnose possible issues which can result in a loss of potential customers. Adopting a mobile-first approach for your website can be a low-hanging fruit that could also bolster the growth of your website.
In a world where we expect instant gratification, a slow and unoptimized mobile website just won’t cut it!!!