The trend of having a responsive website design is rising. This has led to an improved performance and enhanced user experience. However, these sites have gradually grown in size and this growth has come with a price and that is, compromise with performance. With the advent of mobile devices, web visitors are surfing the internet on the go but with the bloated size of a responsive design website, it gets increasingly difficult to do so. Statistics reveal that a mobile user drifts away to another site after waiting for three seconds for the website to load. Hence there is a need to do something extra for optimising performance when going for a responsive website. Here are a number of things that you can do for this purpose:
It is impossible to come across a site that does not have an image in it. There are no two ways about the fact that images are the biggest culprits when it comes to slow loading of a website. While you may have several varieties of images for various sizes of screens, it is always good to have an image that is accessible from all devices. This can be done by either altering the existing back-end mark up or by using applications like Mobify and Adaptive Images. These apps resize the image on their own depending on the user’s screen.
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Performance budget sets the responsive website’s overall size and speed, much like the usual budget sets the allowance of spending the resources. Hence in case you wish to add or edit a page you must first check the space available. Let us say that after you add a resource, you realize that you are utilizing more than what has been allocated to you then what shall be your course of action? You will necessarily have to choose one of the two i.e. either optimise the features already present on the website or remove some existing features to make space for the new ones.
Remove Nonessential Page Elements
You first need to know how are your pages being utilized by your visitors. This will give you an insight into which page is easier to remove to raise user satisfaction and which ones shall not be removed to prevent a decline in user experience. You can do away with pages that do not get a lot of activities by the users. For example, social buttons on a page can be removed if that page does not rely much on social sharing.
No matter what technique you have used, one mandatory aspect of optimizing performance from a responsive website is testing. One way to test it is by using tools such as Screenfly but it is always better to have a test carried out on as many devices as possible. Keep the usability of the website in your mind while testing it on various devices. It should not only look good but also be easily navigable and have a strong call to action. Scrutinize the text also to appear natural and not look squashed. One good way to address the issue of text is to use FitText which is a plugin that updates font sizes on its own. It also ignores CSS font size and hence does not use it for paragraphs; instead, use it only for headlines.
By implementing these five things while trying to optimise the performance of a responsive website, you can see results very clearly and very soon. These changes and ideas will, however, be of little or no use if you host it on a server with poor service. Sites like Whois give you an idea of services of various hosting services. It is a good idea to use a CDN or Content Delivery Network to duplicate your content on a number of servers so that your web visitors get access to your content from the server nearest to them. This tactic greatly improves user experience and performance of the site and works best for e-commerce stores.