How to check whether your website loads fast enough and what’s the optimal loading time? Is it possible to make your website load faster on mobile devices? Keep reading our today’s article to find answers to these and other questions. Enjoy!
Every year there are more and more people who use mobile devices on a daily basis. Moreover, today it also happens that the number of mobile users exceed the number of people using laptops or desktops. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your website is properly optimized for mobile devices – it should load quickly enough on smartphones and tablets.
According to Google, more than half of all Internet traffic is generated by mobile devices, however, on average, loading a mobile website takes longer than 15 seconds. And this is definitely too long. It increases the bounce rate and deters users from accessing the content of the website. Therefore, it’s a good idea to take a few steps that will improve the loading time of your mobile site.
Why is website loading time so important?
As we’ve already mentioned, the loading time of your website is very important because it directly affects the interest of your site’s visitors. According to the research conducted by Google, 53% of users decide to leave a website loading longer than 3 seconds. This, on the other hand, increases the bounce rate and consequently decreases your conversion rate.
Slow loading mobile website means not only the decrease of users’ interest but also negative influence on the development of your business. The fact that your website loads only one second slower on smartphones can decrease your mobile conversion rate even by 20%.
We also need to mention that website loading time (on both mobile and desktop devices) is one of the Google ranking factors. Therefore, pages that load faster are appreciated not only by users but also by Google algorithms and thanks to that they’re displayed higher in the search results.
Thus, if you want to expand your business and reach a wide range of potential customers, you should make sure that your website is properly optimized for mobile devices and it loads as quickly as possible.
How to check your website loading time?
Before we discuss the methods of improving the loading time of your site, it’s a good idea to find out how you can check the loading speed of your page. Below you can see the list of the most popular tools:
PageSpeed Insights, a tool provided by Google, is undoubtedly the method most frequently used to measure the website loading time. It allows you to check the speed of your website on both desktop and mobile devices.
The only thing needed to perform the test is the website address that you put in the bar (1) and then click “analyze” (2).
The result is a score between 0 and 100 provided in two tabs (the first tab refers to the website loading time on mobile devices and the second one contains information about the website loading time on computers and tablets):
Below you can also see more detailed comments about rendering content, as well as tips on how to speed up your site’s loading time which will allow you to find out what elements on your website are problematic and how to improve them.
GTmetrix is another extremely useful tool. It works similarly to PageSpeed Insights – all you need to do is to type the URL address of the website whose loading time you want to analyze and click “test your site”:
After the processing, you get the following report:
It contains all the necessary information referring to the site and tips that should be of help in reducing the loading time of the website.
It’s also worth remembering about Mobile-Friendly Test. It works similarly to the abovementioned tools. In order to analyze the website, you need to provide its address and then press the “test URL” button.
After a few seconds you’ll get a report informing you whether your site is mobile-friendly, the view of a rendered page and information concerning potential errors:
Think with Google
Think with Google is another interesting tool that enables measuring the website loading speed. In order to check your website loading time, you need to provide its URL address and then select a country:
After a while, you’ll get a report:
Below you can also find:
- the option to benchmark your website against websites of your competition on the market,
- the evaluation of the effects your business can achieve if your website loads faster,
- tips suggesting you what can be done to improve the loading time of your website,
- the possibility to generate a free report with your website analysis.
For more information on how to measure your website loading time, go to one of our previous articles.
What is the appropriate website loading time?
We’ve told you about useful tools that can help you measure the website loading time, however, we should also consider what’s the proper website loading time.
Generally speaking, a website should load as quickly as possible but it’s recommended that it doesn’t load longer than 2 seconds as each subsequent second of waiting increases the bounce rate.
9 ways to improve your website loading time on mobile devices
You already know how to measure your mobile website loading speed and what’s the perfect site loading time. Now it’s time to get to know a few useful tips that will allow you to increase your website loading speed even a few times.
Image compression and optimization
Incorrect optimization and image compression is one of the most frequent reasons for low website loading speed on both mobile and desktop devices. So what to do to prevent the graphics published on your site from slowing down the loading time of your site?
First of all, compress (reduce the size) your images before uploading them to the website. You can do it either with the use of professional editing programs like Adobe Photoshop or with free and simple online tools.
Note the size of your photo files. The optimal weight of the uploaded images shouldn’t exceed 150-200 KB. In order to compress images online, you can use free tools like jpegmini.com.
If you use WordPress, you can install the WP Smush plugin which automatically compresses photos uploaded to the server. Although the plugin and its basic functionalities are free, you’ll need to purchase access to the PRO version to be able to fully benefit from the available functions.
If you want to learn more about image optimization, check out one of our articles: Images vs. SEO. How to Get Down to It?
Choosing the right hosting/server
Selecting the appropriate hosting and server is an extremely important issue that affects the website loading speed. In this case you ought to avoid free solutions as they’re rather ineffective and slow, moreover, numerous ads can easily overload them.
Reducing the server usage
When users visit a given website, all its content, including texts, graphics and source code, is processed by the server. This increases the loading time of your website, therefore, you need to take appropriate steps that will allow you to reduce the usage of your server.
The first thing to be done is turning on the GZIP function that compresses files. Thanks to it, you can reduce the weight of your website and consequently improve its loading time. But while some hosting companies have this feature switched on by default, in other cases it needs to be activated manually.
If you wish to reduce your server usage, you can also take advantage of special plugins which are responsible for shortening the website loading time. If you use WordPress, you can access these plugins:
However, when configuring the plugin, you should read the detailed instructions and tutorials or ask someone more experienced for help, as improperly chosen settings can cause errors on the website or even prevent the site from being loaded.
Implementing Google AMP
AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages – is an open-source coding standard that allows you to design mobile friendly websites. AMP enables fast web page rendering, even when the network connection is really slow. Implementing it can significantly increase the users’ convenience and speed up the website loading time. For more information go to our previous entry: AMP – What Is It and How to Benefit from It?
Minimizing the number of redirects on the site
Redirects on the website are a must when you want to inform the search engine that your site can be found at a different address or if you want to eliminate the problems connected with subpages and links that don’t operate properly. However, too many redirects can significantly increase the website loading time, therefore, you should reduce their number to the minimum.
Getting rid of unnecessary elements on the website
Although extra banners and pop-up windows encouraging to subscribe to a newsletter are undoubtedly supposed to attract users’ attention and increase their interest, the excess of these elements may significantly affect the website loading time. Therefore, when designing a website you should consider which extra elements and functionalities are essential and which ones can be omitted in order to avoid unnecessary overloading of the site.
Moreover, additional elements on the website influence the UX and affect the users’ convenience while browsing the page. Too many extra elements not only slow down the website loading speed but also increase the bounce rate and discourage users from viewing the content on the site.
Simplifying the website design
An advanced website may look quite impressive, however, the codes essential to design it can needlessly overload the website and increase its loading time. Thus, when designing a website, you should go for simple yet original solutions that will draw users’ attention but at the same time won’t overload or slow down your site.
Using the browser cache
Mobile browsers can remember pages and save data on tablets or smartphones in order to use it later. The browser cache will make the website load faster and this, in turn, will positively influence the way users’ perceive your site.
Minifying the code
Code minification means simplifying the code and getting rid of any unnecessary characters without changing the functionalities and operation. It also improves the website loading time. By deleting the extra part of the code, you reduce the page weight which results in speeding up the loading time of the site.
Now it’s probably as clear as day that the time it takes to load a website on mobile devices is extremely important for the development of the site and attracting users’ attention. We hope that this article will be helpful in improving the loading time of your site on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets so that users will visit it and interact more eagerly!