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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 16, 2015

Image optimization key to acceptable mobile page load times

Websites need to load quickly on mobile devices, and this is doubly true for image-heavy news websites. However, according to new research by Trilibis, the majority of top news websites perform poorly on mobile.

by Helen Leggatt

According to Trilibis' analysis of 100 business, technology and entertainment news websites that employ responsive design, three-quarters (74%) were found to perform badly on mobile devices and only 26% had 'acceptable page load times'.

Almost half (47%) were 'bad', defined by Trilibis as 4 to 8 seconds load time, and 27% were 'very slow' taking between 8 and 35 seconds to load.

"Page loading time is an important part of the user experience for every website -- but especially for news sites and blogs," said Ted Verani, SVP of sales and marketing at Trilibis. "If a page loads slowly on mobile phones, visitors will go elsewhere for their news. Additionally, page-load time on mobile is now a key factor in determining search engine rankings, and also has bearing on the advertising value of a news blog or website."

The main cause of such load times was image size.

"For desktop computers with high-bandwidth connections and abundant local resources (disk, RAM), page weight is not a major concern -- but, for mobile devices, it certainly is," said Trilibis, which found that the mean home page weight of the sites analyzed was 2.4MB with a median weight of 1.6MB. Overall, images were found to account for more than 50% of overall page weight, but among 5% they accounted for 90%.

Trilibis looked at whether image optimization could lower page weight without damaging the user experience but increasing load times.

"Before server-side optimization, the total image weight of all 64 responsive websites was 81MB. Trilibis' device detection and image optimization technology dramatically reduced the page weight for every class of device: down to 43MB for desktop browsers, 18MB for tablets, and 17MB for smartphones (a reduction in page weight of 47%, 78% and 79%, respectively)."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: blogs, content, image optimization, mobile

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