Basic principles to improve your site speed.

WordPress Mobile Speed

Updated: July 2019


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From experience, speed deal killers include Activecampaign, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads. You have no control over what’s served nor the delays caused by third-party remote servers. You can cherry-pick the slowest ones and cut them or find substitute ad sources.

There is a paid plugin in existence that will lazy load ads. It is very complicated and we don’t use it. It’s targeted at mobile audiences. The goal is to load the ad below the phantom fold on mobile. It seems esoteric and desperate to us. But it exists. It doesn’t reduce data through the pipe. Only delays it.

 
A page that opens in 7 seconds on Firefox desktop browser could be double on a mobile device – around 14 seconds worst case.
 
Speed example: A matrix of 12@ 300-pixel square JPEG images scale to 259-pixel squares. Weight before compression and resizing: 16.6k > after 8.3k. That is a JPEG resized and converted to a 16-color, 8-bit PNG. So 8.34k per image x 12 = 100k savings. Is that worth the work? Not for most site owners.
 
Images load in parallel. But for mobile users this optimization reduces data usage. And the clutter through the wireless “pipe” by 5 to 10 percent. Would we do that on our own site? You bet. We’ll take 100k reduction for mobile users.
 
An image optimization plugin has no human brain. It will not optimize by converting JPEG to PNG – or PNG to JPEG. Switching formats when helpful is a human judgement call. This may be insignificant. Only “testing by fixing” will prove performance results.
 
Loading the wrong dimensions for an image is inefficient. Resizing images on-the-fly causes browser delays as it does the math. How much? It’s theoretical. There is no way to measure except fix it. All browsers act and respond different.
 
How many mobile users do you have? About half? The site owners who are sweating over mobile speed generally are in the 70 percent and up range. Maybe you’re forward thinking. Planning for the future. Or the big question: Is this anxiety about speed a real problem for your company? Are you losing profits? Or only a sales variable you’d like to eliminate?
 
Elementor problems – if there are any – are often corrected. The biggest problem is we can’t do selective activation of Elementor functions. It will white screen the site. The big gain with Elementor is removing it – or the paid version at a minimum. It’s not our recommendation. It’s done but it costs time (money). Functions and features you’ve added to pages are sped up using value analysis. These are not Elementor’s fault. You added them.
 
Elementor isn’t the problem. It’s other third-party gadgetry.
 
Value analysis is a borrowed discipline from industrial manufacturing. We apply it to optimizing site origin. It includes: combination, simplification, elimination, standardization, and substitution.
 
For example:
 
  • Why are you using Merriweather Google Fonts instead of a mobile system font stack?

  • Why are you using Google reCaptcha API?

  • Why are you using Akismet antispam API?

  • How much profit does Facebook API generate? Does it just take people away?

  • Are you lazy loading video on the page?

  • etc. etc.

If you are serious about mobile speed inspect features for value.

 

We love to teach origin-optimization speed strategy.

Our goal usually is to make Elementor (or any pagebuilder) obsolete. It costs much more as a “repair” than as a strategy before building. This would be a site rebuild and would cost too much.
 
Our contempt boils over when suppliers, sources, or authors make fishy claims of speed improvement. But then publish mumbo-jumbo weasels words as “proof.” That bugs me the most. Cherry-picking numbers from best results is not evidence. Or giving the biggest credit to some gadget that’s a clandestine affiliate link. An unbiased report? No way. There’s a sucker born every minute.
 
The performance goal is always 2 seconds or less. Halving a 12-second Elementor page now load in 6 seconds is nice – but it’s not good enough.
 
Convert to creative and unconventional methods of speeding up websites for mobile. That means a bit of homework. It usually means sacrificing some holy features or functions.
 
Are you willing to invest time reading a few articles and PDFs? If so, we have specific materials that teach principles to improve your site speed. We avoid fluff that doesn’t benefit speed. Cram course. No padding. Not comprehensive. Focused.
 
Speed is about compromise.

 

Godspeed—

Steve Teare
performance engineer

Mobile WordPress Speed – without coding!

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