Mobile technology is improving at warp speed so your website can't standstill for long. Here are four new ways to keep up.
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Hand on heart, how much time are you offline? Probably not that much. And very likely the reason for this is your mobile device. Research from Google has shown that “in an average day, more than a quarter of all users only use a smartphone, which is nearly 2X as many as those who only use a computer.”
A picture that went viral last year summarises this well. It shows a crowd of people waiting for the train, all looking at their devices, except for one person. The capture says “Wtf is wrong with this dude? What is he looking at? The world?”
People that commute know that this scenario is no exaggeration. The “proliferation of mobile” is a reality - Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that by 2020, smartphone traffic will even surpass PC traffic. This growth is leaving its marks.
Ubiquitous information access has sped up our lives. We are not patient anymore. More research from Google revealed that “when your site or app is clumsy or slow, 29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app (...). In fact, of those who switch, 70% do so because of lagging load times.”
Mobile optimisation has become business critical
So whenever a business develops a website, there is no longer any choice but to optimise for mobile. This is especially true for content-heavy sites used in e-commerce, retail, media or for any sharing economy business.
However, the basic concerns for mobile are the same as for desktop: ensuring that product and service information and other content pieces are up to date and that the site doesn’t crash or operate sluggishly. Online success comes down to user experience, user experience and … user experience.
Intelligent caching technology is the magic that ensures websites are loading fast and can cope with major traffic peaks seamlessly. Web cache solutions offer a way to serve up web content rapidly and update content in real time.
Speed up or lose visitors to your mobile site
A cache works just like an ordinary web server, intercepting all web requests before they reach the company’s server. That means the company server doesn’t have to reproduce multiple impressions of the same page and the next user can view the page without experiencing a delay.
By doing so, it is able to serve up to tens of thousands of consecutive requests per second, speeding up website performance and reducing server load - all of which help to cope with those traffic peaks around campaigns. To the end user, the perceived performance can be improved by up to 1,000 percent.
Users expect their mobile experience to be better than or equal to their desktop experience, which means you need to make special considerations to ensure the right level of responsiveness. Fortunately, web caching solutions are available that respond to mobile and normal website requirements equally well.
Businesses wanting to ensure that their websites are optimized for all devices, thereby providing optimal user experience for their customers, should seriously consider the option of deploying the following four web caching features in their web infrastructure:
● Mobile device detection -- Helps to ensure an optimal user experience on all devices. It accurately detects the characteristics of every mobile and web connected device and dynamically adapts the website content based on the device capabilities.
● Parallel Edge Side Includes (ESI) -- A lot of websites display personalized content for every individual user, for example web catalogues or news pages based on the interest or behavior of the user.
If a visitor clicks on these sites, the web page fetches the elements and loads them one after another. Parallel ESI instead immediately seeks out and fetches the needed fragments all at the same time. As a result, web pages load up to 75% faster which is especially important when delivering content to mobile users.
People increasingly look for a tailored experience
● Using templating languages for page assembly and delivery -- Most modern website content is assembled in a user’s browser, a process that can take anywhere from a few seconds to tens of seconds.
Templating languages assemble pages using the bits and pieces already stored in the cache and reduces that seconds-long process into tens of milliseconds. These split-second differences might not sound like much, but they make a huge difference to the user experience.
● Highly scalable intelligent Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) -- This technology applies a series of algorithms that observes session characteristics on-the-fly and optimises where necessary.
Intelligent TCP makes content delivery secure and fast over any access point and for every device, even when the network suffers from congestion and high latency.
As the percentage of consumers accessing the web via mobile device continues to climb, increasing the speed of mobile content delivery should be a primary priority for businesses. Taking shortcuts and not fully vetting technical solutions for a mobile website risks damaging the brand and alienating customers.
Having these caching features for the mobile web in place fortunately prevents this from happening. Stay on top of your mobile and web performance and ensure a good user experience on your business’s site.