Google has just launched a great certification program called “mobile sites” where they advocate for their vision of how mobile websites should be designed and optimized to improve the user experience. It gives some interesting statistics on page size and loading speed that everyone involved in website development should know.
The certification starts with a course of 4 modules on mobile sites technologies and optimization as follows:
- Module 1: Mobile sites and why they matter
- Module 2: Improving mobile site speed
- Module 3: Creating an effective mobile UX
- Module 4: Advanced web technologies
3 interesting facts about page size and site speed
Website developers are faced with a website “obesity” crisis: This statistic shows that the average size of a web page has been increasing from 390 KB in 2011 to more than 2 MB in 2015. This increase is also mainly due to the size of picture elements in the page.
Users leave pages mainly because they are too big and too slow to load: a poll done by Google shows that close to half of the respondents said their top frustration when browsing the web on their mobile device was waiting for slow pages to load.
Additionally, 60% of mobile users expect mobile websites to load within 3 seconds, and on average, 75% of people will abandon a mobile website if it takes any longer than 5 seconds to load.
Reducing page load time boosts sales and conversion rates significantly. A research study found that mobile pages that load 1 second faster see up to 27% increase of their Conversion Rate.
A brief checklist on what to do to make your mobile website loose weight
Here is a checklist to follow to reduce the size of your mobile website and increase its loading speed:
Reduce your page size
- compress images (adjust JPEG compression level to find a good tradeoff)
- minify content (use tools to minify CSS, JS and HTML, remove image metadata)
- remove useless external scripts (especially if they are blocking rendering)
- remove useless styles (try to merge styles at class level)
Reduce page load time
- avoid render blocking scripts (put them at the bottom with the async option)
- avoid having more than 80 server requests to load one page (merge content)
- analyze your page loading time to identify worst offenders which are slow to load
- use a CDN to cache media files like pictures and videos
- enable HTTP compression
If you feel you are ready, you can take the exam to get the Google Developer Certification / Mobile Sites certification exam and get a score above 80% to be certified for one year.