Now the panic is over to get your site mobile-friendly so it meets Google’s latest algorithm update, it’s time to take stock of its performance. In short, you need to establish how fast and responsive your site really is. People often forget that Google takes into account a site’s performance when ranking it, a point well publicised a few years ago in 2010 and then again in 2013.
So, how do you measure your site’s performance?
There are some pretty cool online tools which allow you to do this. Some of them are paid, but others are free and to be honest, they are just as good with Google Chrome’s own being its Developer Tools. Now this shouldn’t send you into panic mode because you don’t need to be a developer to use it. The reason being that the majority of Google tools at your disposal are designed for even the most “non-techy” person to use successfully.
If you don’t already run Chrome, you’ll need to install it before doing the following:
- Open up Chrome
- Click on the 3 bars in the top right hard corner of the screen
- Select the More Tools option – then from the next drop down list click on the Developer Tools option
This brings up a screen full of info, but what you need is at the top where you’ll find a drop-down list containing all sorts of mobile devices like iPad etc. All you need to do is choose one before entering your site’s URL in the address bar. The next screen view that appears is of your website and how it looks on the mobile device you chose from the drop down list.
If you scroll down to the end of the page, you’ll find the all-important performance stats including things like:
- Page load time
- Size of your page
- Number of requests
To see a really useful waterfall diagram view, just click on the “Network” tab.
If the page looks fine and loads quickly then all well and good, but if it doesn’t then you’ve got to start tweaking things or engage the help of a developer who would be able to do this for you in the blink of an eye which not only ensures your site performs well, but that it is mobile-friendly too!
Are Your Images Optimised too?
Once you’re happy with your site’s performance, the next thing to check are the images found on your pages to see if they are optimised too. Bear in mind that “images” rule, but if large images load too slowly on a mobile (or other) device, it can seriously impact your site’s performance and Google won’t take too kindly to it! A brilliant 1600px wide image may look the business on a desktop, but it might be wasted on a device that boasts a much smaller screen even it’s a retina or high resolution display.
So, what’s the solution?
Some say a smaller image might do the trick, but this particular part of the process might be best left up to the experts because you can get it “wrong” and the result is a very ugly looking image that boasts a nasty resolution. Your page might load faster, but the visual end result could be disastrous.
What does the future hold?
Those in the “know” offer sound advice on the fact that things are moving towards HTTP/2, albeit it quite slowly which is something everyone needs to bear in mind. However, for the moment tweaking a site so it’s more responsive and mobile-friendly will get you in Google’s good books and it will certainly enhance browser experience!
Here are a few useful tools you can use to assess how well your site is performing and which check if it’s mobile-friendly.
Google’s mobile-friendly test tool
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