Mobile Web Design Best Practices #1 – Why Page Load Time is So Important for Mobile Web Design

Mobile Web design is one of the hottest topics for a good reason. Since more than half of all Internet users access it from their phone, you have to be 100 percent sure that your website is functional on phone screens. Not only that, you have to make sure that your site looks good, as well. It should also be streamlined for easy navigation. But perhaps the most important element of mobile Web design you need to focus on is how fast (or slow) your website pages load.

 

The first thing you want to check is to see just how mobile-friendly your existing website already is. Google has a tool for checking your website’s mobile friendliness. Also, Google has found that visitors are 5 times more likely to “bounce” off of your website if it’s not mobile-friendly. That’s a staggering number. But it’s not surprising considering that more searches than ever start on mobile than on desktop.

 

So what is the first major thing to consider when optimizing for mobile-friendly design? It’s page load time. One of the major elements of mobile Web design that you need to succeed in today’s internet is how instantly something loads. Google says that “nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.” It’s not quite that quickly for desktop users. But when when people are checking things on their phones, it’s understandable that they want a nearly instant response from a website that they’re trying to visit.

 

So what causes slow page load time? Sometimes, the trouble lies in code that may make the site look good on desktops. But on the phone, this presentation isn’t going to be as fantastic. All this extra code does is slow the page load time on a mobile phone. You may also have high-resolution images that look gorgeous on a desktop screen. But on a mobile device? They take too much data to actually load properly within a reasonable amount of time. You’re also sucking up valuable data usage for your users. No one wants to deal with a website that uses up a lot of their monthly high-speed data usage.

 

So now you know the major culprits of slow page load time. How do you fix these issues? One of the best ways to overcome mobile page load issues is to employ a responsive website design that is generally the same on both desktops & laptops and mobile devices. Some website owners employ a different version of their website for mobile and desktop users. This creates a different user experience and perhaps in some niche cases it’s okay to have two separate sites. However, for most people and businesses, a simple responsive website that adjusts from a mobile phone screen to the largest desktop monitor is best.

 

With a simple, streamlined responsive website, you’re only keeping track of a single website. Whether you choose WordPress or a similar Content Management System (CMS) make sure you have a theme that’s both eye-catching and easy on load time. The more scripts and fancy widgets you have on your site will simply hamper people from even finding your site in search! It’s best to have a simpler website that anyone can find on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or whatever their favorite search engine. Otherwise, you might have a website that people only find by typing in the address on a business card.

 

With Google and other search engines making mobile-friendliness a priority, it’s time for you to make sure you have a responsive, quickly loading mobile-friendly website today.