One of the main aspect which are pivotal to the success and popularity of a website is its speed. Recent studies have shown that on an average a user spends around four seconds for a website to load before proceeding to the next website. So, it’s a very short period to create an impression and convince those choosy eyeballs. Another point which needs to be considered is to create a mobile-friendly website as Google considers this vital aspect while ranking web-pages. The slower websites generally get a much lower ranking on the various search engines and hence a reduced traffic. So, one needs to clearly identify the problems as well as the bottlenecks and effectively address them. Some of the techniques which can be used to measure website speed are as follows –
- Using Google Page Speed Insights to measure the website speed – Speed Insights by Google is one of the best tools for measuring the load time of a website. The UI is user-friendly and uncomplicated. The URL of the website needs to be provided on the on-screen box and then analyze. A report is generated by the tool having details about the speed of the website and experience of the user. Also, certain changes are suggested to make the website even better. Each recommendation has links to provide further recommendation for improvement.
- Using the GTMetrix tool to measure load time of websites – GTMetrix is another tool which provides details regarding the website loading time. The report which is thus generated gives details regarding different aspects such as website load time as well as ranks the web page from A to F depending on the response time. It also provides certain inputs about which areas require improvement and how to improve them. Each recommendation has various links to provide detailed recommendations for improvement.
- Using Webpage Test to search for various web page load issues – The Webpage Test is also quite similar to various other web page testing tools, but with lots of added features. One can specify various locations all around the world for this test and also test the website on various browsers which also includes mobile browser. This is the main selling point of this tool which makes it immensely popular. The report thus generated provides minute details about when the web page starts loading as well as when the loading process is complete. Even the response time taken by the website to load during a different time by the same user is also provided.
Certain other techniques which can help to improve the speed of the website are as follows –
- Minimize the number of HTTP requests – As per Yahoo research, around 80 percent of the load time of a webpage is spent while downloading the various pieces of information of the web page such the stylesheets, images, flash, scripts, etc. For each of these elements, an HTTP request is made. If the number of such elements is large then it takes much longer for the website to load.
- Reduce the response time of the server – For every website, the response time of the server should be targeted around 200 milliseconds or lower. Hence, it should be ensured that this target is met or bettered to give the user an optimum experience. Google also recommends various web applications which can monitor the website for various solutions and check for certain bottlenecks which might be hindering the website performance.
- Enable compression of the website – Various large sized pages have the data size of about 100kb or even more. As a result of this, they are very slow to load and download. One of the best ways to increase their load time is by zipping them by a technique called compression. In the compression process, the bandwidth of the page reduces thus reducing the HTTP response. This can be done using a tool called the Gzip. As per Yahoo, the process of compression can reduce the total download time by around 70 percent.
- The process of enabling browser cache – On visiting any website, the elements of the web page are stored on the hard drive either in the cache or the temporary storage. This feature is very useful because the next time when the same website is chosen, the browser is capable of loading the website without any requirement of sending another HTTP request to the server. This improves the response time drastically.
For making the website mobile friendly as well as maintain the top rank amongst all the competitors, the following steps would be very useful –
- Understand the position of the website when it comes to mobile friendliness – Take various tests to analyze if the website passes or fails in the mobile-friendliness test of Google.
- Create mobile friendly solution for the website – For this, a number of possible solutions can be referred to which includes dynamic serving, responsive design, a completely different website for mobile usage as well as a completely new mobile app.
- Maintain and follow the best practices for mobile optimization – In order to create mobile friendly website which is SEO optimized, the website needs to meet certain mobile-friendly criteria’s set by Google. This process includes making the text readable with the option of zooming, avoiding certain software which is not common on the various mobile sets, etc.
- Improve the rank of the website in Google Mobile – For improving the rank, there are various tools which can be used to automate the SEO optimization tasks. These tasks include various jobs such as keyword research, rank monitoring as well as on-site audit which improves SEO of the mobile-friendly website.
It is essential that the webpages are made mobile-friendly as it improves the user engagement to a large extent on various mobile devices. It is also very useful in getting a high rank on various search engines on the mobile devices. The use of mobile surfing in recent times has gone much beyond that of desktop surfing. So, it is essential to test the mobile-friendliness of the website or else it might end up losing website traffic.