Those of us who sit at desks in offices often forget that most part of the world connects to the internet and view websites and social feeds on their mobile phones, the call to go “responsive” is stronger and louder than ever.
Responsive websites are called this way because they “respond to the device your website is being viewed on.” Another popular term is “mobile friendly”
How to not to lose your mobile visitors
Supporting all possible screen sizes with the best display of your content is just one part of the “responsiveness” concept. You want to make sure you don’t lose mobile visitors? It’s a 2 step process!
- Step 1: make your website responsive – if people visit your website on a mobile phone, and it’s not, then they are very likely to not look much further. It’s just too hard to try pinching and zooming and tiling and scrolling, when there are now plenty of other sites which have been built to be viewed on multiple devices.
- Step 2: make your website load fast! Yes, it’s true. Your responsibility when it comes to your website is not only about how the website looks or how it’s formatted for mobile device viewing and mobile search. A huge factor is speed – or performance – and that is actually just as important as design and formatting when you “go responsive”.
The mobile web experience should be lightning fast!
If not – it will affect your SEO results and user experience.
Testing your site for responsiveness and site speed:
Here’s a great tool from Google which lets you test out whether your site is responsive:
These 2 sites allow you to test speed on your site and can be a good way to check where you are, how your site compares to others, how quickly it loads from different parts of the world, and the difference in loading speed you can achieve through implementing some of the changes we recommend in this post!
4 ways to make sure your site is lightning fast
We have defined four elements to check that can help you deliver your website content faster for mobile users
Check your hosting provider
Sometimes sites are slow not because of the site they are on, but because the servers they are on. The hosting company you use can affect speed. If you are on the same server as lots of other sites, this could slow things down. Ask how many other sites are on the same server as yours.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service
CDN is a type of caching. It is specifically designed to store the content closer to end users (in order to reduce latency and increase throughput).
While simple caching is done on single server (usually on smaller projects), only CDNs can ensure good performance across the globe. So basically caching is related to server performance and CDN is related to network performance. Caching is essential nowadays on the web, CDNs too, and amazing results can be achieved when they are used together. There are few free “plugins” that help you increase the speed of content delivery worldwide – including Cloudflare and W3 Total Cache. So if you have a WordPress site, ask your developers to install these.
These work by putting your website’s “static” content (the parts that remain the same) such as images on their servers worldwide. You tell the CDN what content you want it to use. When a visitor comes to your website, this chosen content will be served from the nearest server as fast as possible. It will also can help you save some bandwidth.
Cache static content
The main purpose of caching is to deliver content as fast as possible by storing data in a server’s cache. It just avoiding additional computing if the content was already served once. For example, imagine yourself being in a big supermarket and it’s like knowing where exact item is.
If you have a WordPress site, use a Web Performance Optimisation plugin
There are plenty, and we recommend W3 Total Cache. It promises at least 10x improvement in overall site performance and is used by large companies and blogs all over the world. We don’t recommend many plugins as they can conflict. There are also a lot of plugins that are no longer maintainable so you can forget about using them. W3 Total Cache is one of the best you can get for free. It integrates most popular technologies to achieve maximum result, but setup will require some technical knowledge. There are also many other good plugins. To choose, you need to consider the project. For example, if the website has a lot of images, using a good CDN service for offloading the delivery of image files can be enough to achieve very nice performance. See also: WP caching plugins compared