Introduction to Mobile Web Service
Mobile Web refers to the use of internet services through mobile or other similar wireless devices. The Internet is becoming more accessible by mobile devices. In recent years, web access through mobile phones exceeds the percentage of web access through the desktop. With the introduction of smart mobile phones, the use of mobile web services has been accelerated to a greater extent. People spend more time on mobile web services than they use the desktop or laptop.
Smartphones and tablets have added to the advantage of mobile web services. It provides easy internet access through its touch experience.
Business and Mobile web service
Mobile is no longer on the sidelines. Business is significantly booming on mobile web services. Mobile commerce drives more revenue to your business. People spend more time on sites which are accessed through mobile phones. More online shopping takes place through mobile phones these days.
But mobile web service access still faces hurdles such as interoperability and usability problems.
Is mobile web access performance optimization still important?
You know that the answer is Yes.
Optimizing a site for mobile customers can be daunting as there are a lot of mobile devices and browsers available. Optimizing a mobile site also takes time and testing.
Importance of mobile websites
Mobile-friendly websites are a huge wake-up call for any website owner to update and optimize their site to be mobile responsive. Without a mobile-friendly site, a lot of potential customers can say Goodbye to your business. This is because of the following reasons.
Increase in the use of smartphones
Mobile phones and smartphones have become more affordable in the recent years. These devices are easy to use and are often used for browsing. Thus companies have an urge to create a mobile site for their business.
Increased use of mobile internet
Most of the mobile phone users use it for online purposes. The percentage of mobile internet usage has increased to a greater extent. This provides a good opportunity for the business people to market their products online by creating a mobile site.
Use of GPS
The use of GPS in mobile phones will help the users to find out the nearby services or businesses. It will also help them to get the direction to reach them. If a business is not using a mobile site, then it is in the danger of losing customers.
SEO and Traffic
Mobile sites will help to increase your ranking in search engines, and this will help you to drive traffic to your site.
Better user experience and increases conversions
Mobile sites give a good experience to their users because of the speed of the site and bandwidth. This will help in turning the users into your customers.
Visitors to your site will not stay on your site if the content on your site is not attractive. They need to have easy navigation within your site. If the visitor leaves your site without clicking another webpage of your site, that is called Bounce rate. If the site is not properly optimized for mobile devices, then the bounce rate will increase.
Click back is when a visitor comes to your website and then clicks on the back button, feeling that the site is boring or irrelevant. Clicking the back button will take the user to the original search results page.
How to check whether your site is optimized for mobile phones?
Go to your mobile site on a smartphone and ask yourself the following questions.
- Does the site load in less than 3 seconds?
- Does the site draw attention to the main points of the business?
- Is the content attractive?
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Does the site offer a good experience?
- Does the website make you spend more time exploring other pages of the site?
If the answer is yes for most of the questions, then you have optimized the mobile site properly. It will bring you more traffic and sales to your business.
Why care about mobile web service performance?
Here are few reasons for making a mobile site a priority in your business in the coming years.
- More than 1.2 billion people in the world use mobile phones for web access
- Half of the e-commerce traffic is due to the mobile phone
- Compared with overall e-commerce, the sales which take place through mobile sites are high
- Mobile shopping carts are avoided by most of the users. This is because of the complicated payment process
- Even if the visitors of your site are not converted into customers through the mobile site, still mobiles play a vital role in taking them to your site
- A more satisfying mobile experience will increase the number of visitors to your site, and the visitors are more likely to return to your site on a desktop later. It will help you gain the trust of the customers
- Mobile users expect pages of your site to load faster than on the desktop. The pages should load within 3 seconds
- If the pages load slowly, the user loses interest and gets frustrated. This, in turn, reduces the engagement of the visitor in your site
- If the page loads even 1 second late, then it will affect the bounce rate, conversion rate and page views of the site
- The size of the page is an important element in deciding the speed of the site. The page size should be 1Mb or less than that.
- Mobile network latency is another great challenge for mobile web service performance. 3G is the dominant network type, and it takes around 200-300 milliseconds for an average resource roundtrip
How to create better mobile web service performance?
There are a number of techniques for optimizing mobile performance
The responsive framework is an integral part of the mobile, and it helps to increase the speed of the process. It was introduced to help rapid prototyping of mobile functionalities and layouts, which lets the developers invest more time in improving the brand experience.
The most important factor is the connection speed. Mobile users most commonly use 3G and 4G networks as they are much faster than others. The average speed of the 3G network is 0.24 MB per second.
Download speed is not the only factor that improves the mobile web performance. It is always combined with network latency, memory, CPU, and cache size. All these are much smaller than the desktop’s, so it takes more time to load.
Restrictive loading is another important factor to improve the web performance. Site owners should make sure that the users do not download anything that will affect the speed of the site. Features such as images, maps, additional widgets can be avoided to stop loading problems. The site owner should check these problems at every stage of optimization.
Fast loading website adds a lot of value to your business, and it helps you get rid of the hurdles of mobile web service performance. The factors which affect the loading time can be studied in detail below.
4.1 Reduce dependencies
Make sure the users are allowed to download only a few files. It can be achieved in the following ways.
- Load images through CSS
- Use inline styles and keep external style sheets to a minimum
- Use CSS3 instead of images
- Use Data URI Scheme to embed images and web font files
- Use inline Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) to reduce the number of HTTP requests
- Use Image Sprites to combine all the commonly used images into a single image file
- Use Font icons using CSS3 keyframe animation
- Avoid using inline frames
- Code for mobile users first
- Split the content and make it separate for mobile websites
- Reduce the number of redirects
4.2 Reduce image dimension
The fastest way to improve the mobile web performance is to resize the images to fit the screen size. Images occupy the largest amount of space on a web page. So it should be compressed and modified with image formats. Here are few ways to use the images effectively on a mobile website
- Use Adaptive images – Adaptive images uses a PHP script which automatically detects the size of the screen and produces a scaled-down version of the image to fit the screen size. Through adaptive image techniques, you can also set the quality of the images.
The main benefit of this is only the needed images are downloaded in the background, and unwanted images are avoided.
4.3 Reduce Client-Side Processing
Here are few tips to reduce client-side processing
- Avoid widgets as it will take more time to load
4.4 Reduce the content
A mobile site with a lot of content will definitely affect its performance. You can use the Content Delivery Network to increase the speed of the site. Display only the important contents on the screen and transfer the remaining to the end of the HTML template.
4.5 Pick up the right hosting solution
There is a wide range of web hosting packages offering a lot of benefits at different prices, from cheap to costly. Spend some time researching and selecting the best web hosting packages that will provide the best value for your money. This will help you improve the mobile web service performance.
4.6 Avoid m-dot redirection
Use a single domain. Single URL in all the devices will help to reduce the redirection.
4.7 Enable compression
Compress your resources by using gzip to reduce the number of bytes on a page. This will help the visitors to easily navigate in your site. It will also help to load the pages faster.
4.8 Limit the HTTP requests
4.9 Server-side techniques
Servers side techniques will also help to speed up the performance of the mobile site. It includes
- Cache HTTP redirects – increase the repeat visits
- Merge HTTP redirects – reduce the number of redirects
- Use HTTP compression – reduces the number of bytes
Mobile web service performance testing
Is your site ready for mobile?
To know the answer to this, you should do some testing on multiple devices.
There are great tools available to find out whether your site is mobile compatible. Here are few tools listed below.
- W3C mobileOK Checker
- CrossBrowser Testing
- Network Panel
- Browser Stack
- Multi-Browser Viewer
- Perfecto Mobile
There are also a few mobile emulators that will help you to check your site’s mobile readiness. Few of the mobile emulators are listed below
- iPhone Tester
- iPad Peek
- Mobile Phone Emulator
- The Responsinator
- Matt Kersley’s Responsive Design Testing
- Opera Mini Simulator
Mobile has become a fundamental tool in our personal and professional lives. But still, mobile users are not fully satisfied with the quality of the online experience. To satisfy the high expectations of mobile users, you need to optimize your site for mobile phones.
Delivering a fast and consistent site across mobile devices has become more important these days. There is no magic to improve the mobile performance, but there are few techniques which the site owners can practice to leverage the mobile web service performance.
- Keep pages clear, simple and concise
- Make the load time less than 4 seconds
- Optimize HTML, CSS and images
By following the above-mentioned tips in the article, you can improve your mobile web service performance and thus offer a great experience to your users.
Start with your mobile site today and grow your business to great heights.
This has been a guide to Mobile Web Services. Here we discuss the basic concept, Importance, Mobile web service performance testing, How to check whether your site is optimized for mobile phones? You may also look at the following articles to learn more –