According to StatCounter, more Internet users from all over the world are accessing the world wide web from mobile devices rather than the previously common desktops. 51.3% use mobile while 48.7% rely on their desktops.
This information was recorded back in 2016, and now, two years later, the fact holds true for every human walking this planet. Even from an observer’s standpoint, you can easily say and see people walking the streets with their noses buried in their mobile screens.
So it only stands to reason that companies are taking the mobile-first approach. And if you haven’t, then you’ll have everyone in the know asking, “Why?!”. Luckily, it’s never too late to set up your website for overall mobile speed.
Here’s our checklist to determine if your WordPress site is all set for speed on every mobile device:
A Proper Web Host
Imagine walking into your favorite fast food joint in the middle of the day only to find them closed because they’re all out of soda. Regular customers will check back later, but new visitors would find a new place to eat their midday meal — with soda perfectly available too.
Apply that situation as an analogy when thinking about your mobile web visitors. For this reason, choosing an excellent web host is crucial.
When it comes to hosting a website, especially for WordPress, there are lots to choose from. Constant upgrades on your hosting account doesn’t insure an awesome hosting performance. Choose meticulously and choose wisely.
Pick a web host that is known for its reliability. Make sure its server has excellent structure and caching. Here are other qualities you should definitely keep an eye out for:
Speed: Slow-loading websites because of an overburdened server won’t do you any favors. Your visitors will go somewhere else.
Space: Web space is cheap for a reason. Get lots of it.
Sufficient bandwidth: Get a web host that lets you buy expansions for further use. Limits on the number of visitors you allow into your site can have negative impacts.
Excellent features: Choose a web host that lets you have all the options need. Check their control panel. Take note of the number of allowed subdomains, scripting language support, databases, and whether it’s hosted on a Unix or Windows platform.
Reliable: Do your research. Look at their number of customers. It’s an easy way to gauge their competitiveness. Search for complaints (if there are any), and try to find users and ask them about their own experiences with the host.
One of the most common reasons for slow loading in mobile websites are large images. But how can that be? Your blog needs images to help hold your elusive audience’s attention, and to help with engagement.
But fortunately for you, slowing mobile sites because of too many images can easily be fixed. One easy way of doing that is to get rid of unnecessary pictures or the ones you don’t even need anymore.
And if they’re too important to be rid of, there’s always the option of compressing a bunch of images. You can do this with Photoshop, or you can use plugins like reSmush.it, EWWW Image Optimizer, or ShortPixel to compress and optimize them for you automatically.
Updated plugins and themes
Some people may say that they’re fine with the current version they have, or that updating just takes up unnecessary space. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Outdated themes and plugins result in very slow loading time. And as we’ve said before, your mobile site visitors will move on to a different source to find what they need. That results in a loss of potential customers. In addition, outdated plugins and themes put your website’s security at risk.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you update them and deactivate unnecessary plugins.
A regularly updated WordPress site ensures:
Security from hackers and malware.
Functionality and less downtime.
Bug-free and faster loading.
Access to cool new features.
A Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network is crucial for blog sites and news sites. It minimizes the distance between visitors and your website’s server. A CDN stores a cached version of its content in multiple geographical locations.
In short, CDN puts your content in many places at once. It provides superior coverage to your users. With a content delivery network, delays in traversing content across multiple regions can be avoided. CDN caches your content on your visitor’s location server, and will give them the content instead.
No Hotlinking or Leeching
If you don’t already know, hotlinking and leeching can greatly affect your page’s loading time. It’s a form of bandwidth theft where other sites are directly linking to the images on your website. This is what causes longer loading times.
Free of SEO Errors
In a bid for constant hastiness, it’s unavoidable for us to err as we develop the mobile-versions of our websites. So don’t rush. Take time to check for overlooked points. Common SEO mistakes can cause your mobile site speed to slow down.
Things you need to watch out for are:
Blocked files: Remember to test all of your URLS, especially if your mobile site uses a different URL than your desktop one. Make sure to check your website’s robots.txt file to see if any important elements have been disallowed.
Unplayable content: Before including multimedia content, consider what it will do to you site’s loading speed. Also make sure that your video embeds are playable across all devices.
Faulty redirects: Failed redirection is a big issue in websites that haven’t been optimized for mobile.
Mobile-only 404s: Users on both desktop and mobile should be able to access the same content. A mobile 404 calls for a remedy.
Always track and update your progress, so you ensure responsive content.
Responsive content means moving web content around to increase its appeal to mobile viewers. But there is a specific code you can add, so you can serve exclusively mobile content to your mobile viewers. Serving different content uses a wp_is_mobile() function. This mobile detect shortcode hides specific content that is only available to desktop users.
Your Site Passed an Accredited Speed Test
The internet is a stage where information providers are constantly battling for increased visibility. With everybody vying to be seen, you simply cannot afford to lag behind with a snaily website. Most sites lose half of their visitors because of very slow loading time. Long before you serve them the good stuff, your visitors will leave to look for better and faster sources.
Say you have all seven points listed above checked. This is your final test. There are numerous tools in the web that can test your site’s loading speed, and most of them come without a price too.
Google PageSpeed Insights: This is a relatively easy tool to use. Simply input the name of your website, let it analyze, and the tool displays the information you’ll want to see. It grades your website on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the number, the better optimized your site is. PageSpeed gives reports for both the desktop and mobile versions of your site. It gives useful recommendations too.
WebPageTest: It’s similar to the previous tool, but it has over 40 locations to choose from and over 25 browsers, including mobile. It assigns grades from F to A based on different performance tests. The report is divided into six sections which include details, a summary, a performance review, content breakdowns, and screenshots. It also runs a first view and a repeat view test.
PageScoring: This site provides a simple and easy-to-understand performance report. It shows you overall load time as well as domain lookups, connection time, redirection time, page size, and download time.
These are only three of the many, but they all have one thing in common. They provide clear data. Ensure your website’s performance in a 3G connection as well. The average loading time is 19 seconds, and if your website takes longer than that, then it might be time to go back and double check our list to see what you’ve missed.
Mobile internet usage has experienced a staggering growth in the recent years. If you haven’t optimized your site for mobile-search yet, it’s never too late. Mobile website speed is crucial if you want to attract more traffic from mobile users.
It’s not stopping anytime soon, and there’s nothing any of us can do, but to keep up and keep our pulse on the latest trends. The competition only gets tougher. So do all you can to stay relevant.
About Post Writer:
Al Gomez is the President and Founder of Dlinkers — a company dedicated to providing complete digital marketing services. With more than ten years of experience, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself to achieve online success.