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Is your mobile site fast enough for Google?

[Friday 14 March 2014]

Google is now recommending webmasters try to get their pages to load in just one second on mobile devices as a way to keep people from leaving due to waiting too long.

Google Page Speed

Another important and very relevant article on CMS Wire about the web and its content. Besides delivering content based on user experience (CXM), speed is getting much more relevent in order to prevent visitors for leaving you mobile site. It is getting that important, that Google now is going to recommend load time for mobile web-pages to serve under just 1 second. 

PageSpeed Insights

The web meets the infrastructure again. This is were companies like Stone-IT Group Smile, specialised in high performance websites, will serve the transformation we are in at this moment, regarding web content management and user experience.

Advances in Internet technology like widespread broadband access have made the Web much faster over the years, and now it's mobile's turn. Google is now recommending webmasters try to get their pages to load in just one second on mobile devices as a way to keep people from leaving due to waiting too long .

Google's PageSpeed  Insights tool can examine websites to see what kinds of issues they have when it comes to webpage load times. Mobile websites take an average of seven seconds to load, according to a Google Analytics study, and other research has shown that is simply too long for people to wait. On mobile devices, that seven seconds can seem like an eternity, especially when people are used to such fast load times on their broadband networks.

Of course, people are using their mobile devices quite often on those high speed wireless networks as well, but when it comes to 3G or 4G mobile traffic, speeds plummet. That's where Google's recommendations could come in handy. There isn't much we can do to speed up telecommunications networks, but websites can in fact make some changes to get faster.

Prioritize the Critical Rendering Path

Humans perceive anything that happens in less than 100 milliseconds as instant. We can perceive delays of between 100 and 300 milliseconds, so by the time we get to one second, people start leaving websites  that haven't loaded. When we're talking about seven second load times on mobile devices, the problem becomes clear.

To speed up mobile websites, Google recommends a few best practices in regards to what it calls the critical rendering path. This is the set of steps it takes for a mobile website to display on a device. It starts with so called above the fold HTML, CSS and JS. Servers must render the response in less than 200 ms, the number of redirects should be minimized, and the number of roundtrips to first render should be minimized, Google recommends.

Furthermore, its recommended to avoid external blocking of JavaScript and CSS in above the fold content, and to reserve time for browser layout and rendering at about 200 ms. These can go a long way to reducing network latency that is so much higher than on broadband connections. Since so many more people are flocking to mobile devices, websites are simply going to have to be faster or risk seeing their mobile traffic start bouncing at ever higher rates.

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