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The Need For Mobile Speed

Improving Mobile Speed

mobile speedMobile Speed is important! As much as it pains me to say this, if we want to get more traffic we need to keep Google happy. Failing this would cause us to lose our standing in the search engine causing a huge drop in traffic resulting in less income. And we don’t want that do we.

I’ve written several posts on how to boost the speed of your WordPress blog. One of the later ones was when I moved to Inmotion Hosting a VPS host because a shared hosting was just too slow. That post was called WassupBlog Now Hosted On A VPS Host. Yeah, I come up with some killer titles :tongue_laugh_ee:

I followed that post with How To Optimize Your WordPress Blog. Although I would have been more than happy to leave it at that I happened to come across one of Mitch’s Mobile Friendly vs Mobile-Speed post. I already knew my blogs are mobile friendly because I use Flexsqueeze. I assumed that the mobile speed would be the same as the desktop speed but alas, this is not the case.

This post is about increasing the mobile speed of my Best Online Sports Betting blog. Unfortunately I didn’t take a screen shot of the results before I started updating the mobile speed of that blog but I did leave a comment on Mitch’s post and it was 60. The image below shows the current speed after all my tweaking.

need for speed mobile

Pretty good huh? You can see how your site scores by clicking this link.

How To Improve Your Mobile Speed

The first thing you need to do is to find out what Google thinks is hampering your mobile speed. You do this by using Google’s Page Speed Insight tool. That will score your site as well as tell you what’s wrong with it and what you need to do to make it better. The order you tackle that is up to you. I decided to tackle the easy things first.

Optimize Images

This came under the ‘Consider Fixing’ category. I was surprised to see that because I thought all my images were optimized because I use the EWWW Image Optimizer
plugin.

The good thing about Googles Speed Insight tool is that it actually shows you what needs to be fixed. In the case of the images it gives you actual links to those images. A lot of my images were images used in my theme. I downloaded one directory at a time, optimized all the images in that directory using TinyPNG and then uploaded it back to the server. That increased my mobile speed a little.

Unfortunately a lot of those images were from my affiliate sites which I had  no control over. Why they don’t use optimized images is beyond me. I decided to host all those images myself  and my speed increased a little more once I optimized them.

Leverage Browser Caching

Once I fixed the Optimize images problem I tackled the the leverage browser caching issue. I thought that was being handled by my Comet my caching plugin but it seemed it was falling somewhat short so I decided to try a different one. Enter WP Fastest Cache. That improved it a little more but created a .css issue. Still, the speed was improved. They had a paid premium version with a mobile function so I decided what the heck and bought it. Another speed increase.

Again some of the stuff was out of my control because they were being caused externally via affiliate links etc. Wherever I could I tried to resolve those issues resulting in another speed increase.

Minify JavaScript

Where the caching plugin could fix the JavaScript found on my blog it can’t fix external JavaScript which once again was coming from affiliate links. They use JavaScript in order to keep a record of stats. I decided speed was more important than stats so I opted for simple affiliate links.

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content: A lot of this was taken care of by WP Fastest Cache but like I said earlier it created a couple of internal .css issued. The solution was installing another plugin, Autoptimize. After a lot of tweaking of that plugin I got the results you see in the image above.

The only things I couldn’t resolve were under the leverage browser caching;

http://w.sharethis.com/button/st_insights.js (expiration not specified)
http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js (20 minutes)
http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js (2 hours)

I could easily fix the first two by removing the Simple Share Button Adder but I decided the potential shares were more important than the small speed increase. As for the Google analytics issue, you would have thought that Google would have chosen to ignore that seeing as how they were causing it in the first place right? :wallbash_tb:

Google Fonts issue: My issue with Google Fonts, which is apparently built into WP, was a bit of a pain. Luckily Autoptimize was able to resolve that for me as well.

WP Speed and .htaccess: In your search for mobile speed you will probably come across a lot of sites that tell you to change your .htaccess file to allow for gzip compression or whatever. Your caching plugin should do that for you. I didn’t have to change mine at all.

As I said at the beginning of the post, all this came about because of my mate Mitch. I linked to the first of his quest for speed in the beginning of this post. You may also like to read The Quest For  Mobile-Speed Two and the Quest For Mobile-Speed Three.

What’s the mobile speed of your site like?

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 12 Comments


  1. Twitter:
    Thanks for sharing my posts Pete. Man, you’ve gone a great job at yours that’s for sure. I still get beaten up because I use those images via my Compfight plugin, which pulls them from Flickr, but with the speed I have otherwise I’m a fairly happy guy. :-)

    BTW, you might want to see if you can change at least your Twitter share button so it shows your Twitter handle instead of Shareholic; you deserve the credit for your content. lol
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…5 Things I’d Do Differently If I Was Starting Blogging TodayMy Profile


    1. Twitter:
      Hey, it was the least I could do after you inspiring me to improve my mobile speed. My only problem now is I have so many blogs that still need looking at :hairout_tb:

      I think I got the Twitter think worked out. I’ll probably end up using another sharing button as this one has speed issues :tongue_laugh_ee:
      Peter Pelliccia recently posted…How Every Blogger Can Finally Monetize Their BlogsMy Profile

  2. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) is the need of every website. Where you have to do some things to up your mobile speed. According to the Google, they also considering the Mobile Speed of WebPage and also its layouts. Various things require some changes to improve AMP.
    Thanks @Mitch for the great post.

  3. You are right. The web is no more just a desktop entity and if you are running a website, you should make sure it’s perfectly optiomized for websites with very less loading speeds.

    What I do is, I set up things with as less javascript as possible, compressing images through some tool before embedding it in a blog post, and then keeping the ads as less as possible.

    Thanks for the article. Good read!


    1. Twitter:
      Hey MB, javascript is always a problem, but it is one of many. Images for example can slow down a sight quite a bit if they’re not optimised. Then there is css, your web host, plugins, theme and a whole lot of other issues.

      The important thing is to improve your mobile speed, partly for Googles sake but more importantly to give users the best experience.

  4. Yes thre is no doubt about the fact that how important speed is nowadays. Google keeps the speed tab almost in the upper half of the seo ranking factors. And not only that, there are many good things coming your way when you speed up your website. A good post, with some really quick tips to optimize the images.
    One trcik which I use, is hosting the images on my blog, on a different subdomain, and this has helped me to really get faster load times even on larger images. And the other elements are loaded simultaneously and not one after the other.
    One can really find more about this technique by googling it, and have it setupon their wordpress b logs.
    Jack recently posted…How to Use and Save your Projects on SEO Powersuite CloudMy Profile

    1. I read it somewhere, it speeds up the process. As when the client requests a certain web page to be loaded. The Server can only deal with one request per time, and so the images and the text will be loaded one by one. But when you host the images on a different subdomain, the text and the images get loaded simultaneously. Which greatly decreases the time.
      Jack recently posted…How to do SEO Powersuite Keyword Research [Tutorial]My Profile


      1. Twitter:
        Thanks jack for clarifying that. I’ve looked into it and I’ve read a few articles that said that it improves speed but it seems minimal so I think I’ll gif it a pass as I’m pretty happy with my results so far.

        Thanks again for taking the time to come back.
        Peter Pelliccia recently posted…Lost Words Of Our YouthMy Profile


  5. Twitter:
    All of your tips are good to optimize mobile version of a website. However, you should also consider to use CDN (content delivery network), as well as make an AMP version of your website.

    With the AMP, it will load very fast if users are coming from Google.


    1. Twitter:
      Yeah, that AMP seems to be something new that Google has cooked up. I don’t know that I trust Google enough to set that up.

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