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Top 10 Hacks to Speed Up Mobile-Friendly Websites

Top 10 Hacks to Speed Up Mobile-Friendly Websites

Mobile users contribute more than 47% of website traffic. So, it is essential for webmasters to make their site responsive. However, a responsive site isn’t enough; you should also concentrate on making your site faster to increase the site rank, reduce server load, and increase conversions.

So, here are top 10 website hacks that will speed up responsive and mobile-friendly websites:

1. Reduce the number of HTTP Requests:

HTTP requests contribute the most to decreasing mobile speed. A request happens when CSS or HTML file reference separate elements (scripts, images, style sheets or flash) and requests the browser to load them one by one. So more components on the page the longer it takes to load. So, to increase your mobile website’s speed streamline all the elements on your page, limit the number of links to seven, remove any additional forms or features, and make your copy concise. Also, use CSS instead of images and combine multiple style sheets into one. Furthermore, try to remove scripts or keep them at the bottom so that your users don’t have to wait longer for HTML content to be loaded.

2. Use Browser Caching:

All modern browsers keep a copy of your store’s files. When a visitor first lands on your website, the files are stored on the user’s device. Then when a user comes back to the website, the next day or in a week, the website will load much faster as some content is already stored and downloaded in the browser’s memory. This is known as browser caching. Enabling browser caching can undoubtedly improve the performance of a mobile website by saving files. According to research, enabling browser catching can instantly reduce the loading time of the website from 2.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds.

3. Remove unnecessary resources:

Stylesheets do not require space or formatting. The code we write while designing a site may contain some extra text that the browser does not need. So after designing is over, you should reduce the code to a smaller size. First, remove unneeded and unwanted code to increase the speed of your website. Then remove any extra scripts or files along with extra spaces and line breaks, you can do this manually or use automated tools like cleancss.com. Cleaning the code that is used to display the webpage (Javascript and HTML) and styling sheets (CSS files) both will drastically increase the speed of your website.

4. Compress images:

Image compression can be beneficial in increasing the speed of your mobile website. JPG, PNG, and GIF images should be compressed by 30-40 % for the web. You should resize the image to exactly fit the space that is provided and never let the web browser scale the image down. You can use an image editor such as Photoshop to compress the image. If you run a WordPress website, you can use plugins for image compression. Try out different image formats for compressing the file size. Also, make sure that the size and quality of the image are maintained.

5. Optimize all the images:

Un-optimized, full-sized images are the most common culprits of slow websites. Images with more than 2MB consume a lot of server resources and a large bandwidth along with visitors’ patience. You should consider 3 things: format, size, and src attribute while optimizing images. Cropping your images to a correct size can help optimize images. With regular and retina display, the size 1200×1200 works well. Also, you try to use JPEG format rather than TIFF, GIF, or BMB format. Remove all image comments and reduce the color depth. Check and remove all empty <img src =’….’> as they add unnecessary traffic to the server.

6. Reduce the response time of the webserver:

Mobile site speed is not only dependent on keeping the code well-organized and clean. It also depends on how long your web browser has wait for receiving the data from the customer’s website. The reason for this can vary from memory starvation to slow database queries. You should make sure the data is received within 200ms for reducing your server response time. You can also change the webserver software and reduce the resources on your web pages to enhance the response time of your server. Finally, opting for a better web host can make your page load faster.

7. Eliminate or reduce redirects:

Google experts encourage web developers to eliminate or minimize the number of redirects on their page to increase speed. When you make your customers jump from one page to another, you are making them spend more time on your website, ultimately making them wait for more pages to load. This can make your customers frustrated and unsatisfied with your site. Technically, redirects add to the number HTTP requests that are eventually making the site slower. So try to find out all redirects on your website and eliminate them one by one.

8. Reduce file size with gzip compression:

Gzip compression works just like normal compression. The only difference is that Gzip compression is for websites. If you not sure whether you are using compression, you should contact your host provider. In case you don’t already use Gzip compression you can do it simply by turning on various file types in cPanel or adding code to the .htaccess file. Many file types can be compressed like text/plain, text/html, text/javascript, text/xml, and text/css. You can also compress file types like application rss+xml, application/xml, application/javascript, application/xhtml+xml, and application x-javascript. This will minimize your file size, making your site faster.

9. Place CSS on the top and JS in the bottom of your webpage:

CSS and JavaScript contribute a significant part to site performance. JavaScript is used to bring animation and interactivity to a website. JS allows you to create a rich user experience. However, your focus should be on providing content to your mobile users. So, display your JavaScript after your HTML content has finished loading. In the case of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), you should always place it on the top to prevent Flash of Unstyled Content. Otherwise, your page will be loaded without any style information. Both of these changes will make your page load faster, ultimately making your site faster.

10. Add managed hosting and SSD:

SSD (Solid State Drives) can boost the performance of your website and also increase the loading by 20 times as compared to standard HDD. Additionally, SSD servers have lower access time, less latency, and are more resistant to shock. You can also host your website on a dedicated server to speed up your site performance and provide a better user experience for your customers.

Speed is certainly one of the most significant factors for a great mobile website. Increased load times will not only bring new customers but also make your website stand out. Hence you should consider using these hacks for improving your mobile website’s performance.

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Written by Harsh Raval

1 Comment

  1. Chris Moss says:

    Really useful post, thanks for sharing. As Google is now heavily focused on prioritising the user experience on mobile devices it is crucial to have a high performing and responsive site. It may also be worth adding that the Google PageSpeed Insights page allows developers and agencies to view scoring metrics regarding how well their sites perform in Google’s eyes, both from a mobile and desktop perspective.

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