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Speed, speed, speed

Now that more than half the traffic to your website comes from mobile devices it is essential to design it to be mobile friendly or you will miss half your audience.

You will also be penalised by Google if your site is slow.  Why does this matter? Well, 90% of internet searches are done using Google.

Google first announced they would be implementing a mobile index back in 2016. Now we are in 2018 and a new Googlebot will crawl the mobile version of your website to check it’s performance as well as it’s content. This trend towards favouring mobile sites is only going to increase as time goes by, so you need to attend to any shortcomings now. If you don’t know where to start then why not ask us to give you some advice?

There are many factors that you need to address with this increasing use of mobile devices but the number one is speed. Visitors have a very low attention span and if your site loads too slowly then your competitor’s website is simply a click away. 

 

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What factors affect website speed?

1. Where your server is hosted.
It’s obviously quicker to load pages for UK sites from a UK host, rather than having to get them from across the Atlantic, from a host based in America.

2. Your server performance
Pick a hosting company that doesn’t put too many sites on a server. Some hosts offer shared hosting very cheaply, but if your site is then too slow for your visitors, this will not help your business grow. You do not need to spend much to get a good service, but do ask around for recommendations.

3. Large images
This is a very common reason for having to wait for pages to be served. Use pictures that are appropriately compressed and sized for the device that they are to be shown to the user on.

4. Website code
This can have a big effect on page loading times. Choose a framework and theme with no unwanted ‘baggage’. Having flashy sites with sliders is very popular with website owners but it slows the site down and this then reduces your conversion rates. If you must have a slider (and sometimes they can be useful) then just don’t put them on the home page. When js (javascript) and css (cascading style sheet) files are loaded on the page, can also affect perceived and total loading times. Make sure you minimise and optimise these.

5. Page size
Do not make your pages too big or bloated. Images have a large effect but also ensuring your server uses compression or gzip has a major bearing on speed. Having lots of items or resources on a page will also take longer to serve to the user.

There are other factors but paying more attention to those above will certainly give your end users a better mobile experience.

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