How Fast does Your Site Load?
In the early days of the internet most people gained access via a dial-up modem and so sites needed to load fast. A few years on, broadband became the norm and you could fill your site with lots of resource heavy pictures & videos and it didn't matter.
Fast forward to today and the
majority of visitors to your site will be using a mobile device, maybe
connected via 3G or 4G and with a monthly data cap or using public wi-fi
with a speed equivalent of 2G.
Is your site suitable for this change of use?
Most sites will load pretty quickly when the user is on broadband but what about when they're (increasingly) not?
The place to start your checks is:
Enter the URL of your home page and select 'Analyze' then 'Mobile' and look at your score, then compare it to 'Desktop'. You can then do the same with other pages in your site.
You will receive a report on what's slowing up delivery of your site together with advice on what to do about it.
One of the biggest delays is having a YouTube video embedded on your page. This will slow down the loading time even if the visitor doesn't watch it.
The solution here is to use 'Lazy Load'. Instead of the video being loaded automatically, a selected image is shown along with the 'Play' button. The video and associated coding is only downloaded if the 'Play' button is pressed.
On one of our sites adding this feature alone changed the 'Mobile Score' from 65 to 94! There are a number of coding options available to achieve this (search YouTube Lazy Load) or take a look at the coding on our home page to see how we did it.
Other 'quick-fix' options include using 'next-gen' picture formats (JPEG 2000, JPEX XR and WebP) which have superior compression without losing quality. You can easily convert your images either from an on-line resource (try https://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-webp) or image software (be aware though that these newer formats don't work in all browsers).
Finally, moving just the required CSS and JS from external folders directly into the page where they are required will speed things up (we did this on a JS heavy page and it improved the score from 67 to 91).
Making these changes will give you 2 benefits:
1. Google uses 'Page Speed' as part of its algorithm to determine where you rank in the search results.
2. If your pages are fast to load then there's a far better chance that the visitor will stay on your site.