What is the easiest and cheapest way to access the internet? Is it a PC? A laptop maybe? Turns out neither of these offer an economical method to do so.
The use of smartphones is on the rise, especially in Third World countries like ours. The prices continue to fall while cellular networks offer more and more competitive rates for access to 3G and 4G.
With increased internet access comes increased traffic, especially on popular websites like Google, Wikipedia and YouTube.
The faster a website loads up, the more likely you are to come back to it. After all, nobody wants to wait 10-15 seconds for a single page to load when they can browse similar websites much faster.
In order to facilitate web developers, Google can let you test your website for speed. It also lets you check out how lean and responsive your mobile site is. The faster it loads, the less likely your audience is to leave your website.
You can click here to head over to the Google’s mobile website testing website.
How it Tests Your Site
The “Test My Site” button loads up your website first on a regular internet connection followed by 3G.
About 70% of all cellular networks will run on 3G by 2020, according to Google.
‘Test My Site’ then analyzes your site data by checking
- Detecting compression.
Next the tool tests mobile usability by:
- Detecting viewport
- Sizing context
- Checking text readability
And lastly, Google compares your site with other similar websites to see how it stacks up against them.
Testing it Out
We tested a few mobile sites like YouTube and Wikipedia to evaluate the tool’s usefulness.
We first tested out YouTube’s mobile website:
Surprisingly, YouTube scored low on the benchmark. It took 11 seconds to load up resulting in an estimated 30% users lost due to slow loading speed.
Next up, we tested Wikipedia on it:
Wikipedia scored much better with a 4 second load time, which is about the average loading time for top performers in their respective niche. It had a 10% user loss rate according to the tool.
You can get a detailed report about your site’s performance as well. All you need to do is provide them with your email address and you can get a detailed report within an hour.
Utility and Limitations
Google’s mobile website tool offers useful tips in the results to speed up load times of your site. Only 3 tips are available in the preliminary report, with the detailed report offering greater insight into your website’s limitations.
The tool has its limits despite being useful. For one it does not compare your results with local competitors directly and instead uses data from sites all over the world. This means that the results may lack context when it comes to local competition.
This is a very useful tool if you have an online business and wish to stay relevant among the competition. E-commerce is on the rise in Pakistan which further increases the tool’s importance.
Check it out here.