1. Split Content
The chief purpose of responsive web design is to enhance web browsing experience on mobile devices without compromising on main contents of a website. But research findings reveal that around 80% people aren’t satisfied with mobile browsing experience, and slow performance of websites is a major reason of this disappointment. Clearly, responsive sites are facing performance issues which is chiefly because of too many HTML elements, excess loading time and extra content.
For seamless mobile browsing experience, it is very important to optimize websites so that their performance is accelerated. This is even more important for businesses because slow websites can have negative impact on marketing and promotion. Here are four actionable tips that will make responsive sites faster.
A desktop website can afford to have many contents in a single webpage. But when responsive designing is used in it, then it is better to split its contents in separate web pages. This reduces HTML’s payload and avoids downloading of any associated dependencies. For example, when any product page of an ecommerce site is viewed on smaller screens, then the main product page should contain only generic information.
Keep separate web pages for ‘customer reviews’ and ‘new offers’ but, provide links for these pages within the main product page. Here, a single product page (for desktop website) splits into three different pages (when it becomes responsive). This will reduce HTTP requests as well as HTML size and will increase the site’s speed.
2. Optimize Images
High resolution images are great for desktop websites, but they are responsible for slowing down the performance of a responsive site. Images take the largest amount of KBs which is why websites with too many images tend to underperform on a mobile browser. Using CSS3 styling features like rounded corners and gradients fills will cut down HTTP requests and increase a site’s speed.
However, for images, one of the best techniques is using Adaptive Images. This software detects the screen size of a visitor’s device, and it automatically creates, caches and delivers an appropriate re-scaled version of embedded HTML images. There’s no need for mark-up changes.
4. Use Conditional Loading
This is a very important and popular technique to enhance performance of responsive sites. Conditional loading prevents users to download site contents that make it slow. It can stop different kinds of content from downloading like maps, widgets and images. While implementing conditional loading, designers or developers should thoroughly test the site.
This should be done during optimization stages because it is easier to pick out flaws during that time. Further, it is easier to make corrections during optimization rather than doing so at the very end.
Mobile users expect the same speed response while mobile browsing that they find in desktops and this expectation can be met only when responsive sites take minimum time to load. The above mentioned techniques can enhance speed of responsive sites by eliminating unnecessary contents and scripts. However, web designers must try to incorporate speed enhancing techniques during the build process of a website, and not as an afterthought.