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Responsive Websites and the Need for Speed

As websites become more complicated and the increasing need to be able to serve web pages that are attractive and functional on smart phones, pad devices and computers sometimes speed is not given the importance that it deserves. Responsive websites can be the worst offenders but with some small changes they can be much more effective and load on all devices quickly.

 

What Is Responsible?

One of the major problems for most responsive website designs is that they load all of the design elements and code which can make the file size much larger. This means that even a smart phone gets the data for computers and pads. The need to get the page displayed within three seconds can be problematic and can mean that visitors get frustrated and leave your site.

 

What to Do?

Obviously the best way to address this problem is to use techniques to minimize the amount of data downloaded for a page, compress code and optimize graphics and pictures so that they are the minimum size without sacrificing the overall look. It is important to test changes so that you can quantify the improvements and ensure that your website function correctly and quickly on all devices.

 

Only Download What You Need

One of the best ways to optimize your site for each device is to use conditional loading. What this does is to only download the design elements and functions that are being used for the device that it is being viewed on. It needs to be carefully implemented and tested so that functionality is preserved for each device but it can make significant improvements to load speed so it is worth pursuing.

 

Image Files

This can be a major source of problems because of the need for large high resolution images that look bright and vibrant on modern desktop computer displays. A small screen on a smart phone cannot use this data so it is just wasted bandwidth downloading it and then resizing it make it fit.

 

You can use solutions that allow you only download the image appropriately sized for each of the target platforms. This improves load times as devices with smaller screens automatically have lower resolution images available that are smaller in file size.

 

Responsive Designs Solve Problems

The reason that responsive sites are so popular is because they allow a single site to address multiple devices in a relatively simple and effective way. Having multiple sites increases costs and complexity and can mean that links sent from one device do not work properly when shared with another device. Optimizing a responsive design is not difficult and certainly much preferable that sacrificing the mobile device market.

 

The Mobile Device Avalanche

There are now more than one billion active android devices in the world all capable of web connectivity. Add to this a similar number of iOS, Blackberry and Windows devices in total and the fact that the amount of devices and their use is increasing and you can see why not addressing these devices can mean your business is losing sales.

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