Wondering how to increase WordPress website speed in mobile? 🚀
When it comes to optimizing a website for speed, one has to work on both desktop and mobile speed as both devices draw a good amount of traffic.
Some would argue that mobile speed is more important since, after implementing mobile-first indexing, Google considers the mobile version of a webpage for ranking purposes over the desktop version.
Nonetheless, desktop speed should not be dismissed because a site’s overall loading speed is still considered an important ranking factor.
We have already covered how to optimize your site’s overall loading speed in a previous article so in this tutorial we are going to focus on increasing your site’s mobile speed. Kindly implement the steps listed in both articles for optimum site speed.
Why is your WordPress site slow on mobile?
A WordPress website can appear slow on mobile because of the causes listed below. You will notice that some of the causes are mobile-specific, while others are common causes that also apply to the desktop version of your site.
- Slow WordPress hosting
- Large images not optimized for mobile viewing
- Smartphone processors typically have weaker CPU architecture and are slower than desktops
- Mobile-specific CSS rules including viewport size, re-sizing images, etc
- Too many heavy plugins simultaneously using too many resources
- Too many sliders, preloaders, or animations
Now that you have some idea of the causes, let’s proceed with steps to fix the issue and increase your site speed on mobile.
How to increase WordPress website speed in mobile
In this section, you will learn how to increase WordPress website speed in mobile in just about seven steps. Those are:
- Switch to a fast hosting provider (if you’re not already using one)
- Use a mobile-optimized theme
- Optimize images
- Implement caching
- Review and reduce plugins
- Enable AMP (optional)
Let’s take a deeper dive into each solution and learn how they help increase your site speed on mobile. 🏃
1. Switch to a fast hosting provider
Choosing a fast hosting provider is often one of the best solutions for how to increase WordPress website speed in mobile devices.
You can carry out any of the solutions listed below this section, and still record terrible mobile speed if your hosting server is not up to the mark.
So the first step is to determine whether the slow site speed is caused by poor hosting server performance.
One way to check this is using a speed test tool to test your site’s server response time.
Or, if you’d rather we did the work for you, you can just read our posts on the subject.
We have tested dozens of hosting services and published in-depth reviews on almost all popular providers. You should be able to find your hosting provider in the following articles and figure out whether you should continue using their service:
After reading the reviews, if you decide to switch to a better hosting provider, then take a look at our article on the fastest website hosting services. It covers eight different hosting companies equipped with technologies that will help you increase your site’s mobile speed.
Also, consider switching to a hosting solution dedicated to your website type. For instance, WooCommerce sites are larger and usually require more processing power, so migrating to a dedicated WooCommerce hosting plan is a better idea.
2. Use a mobile-optimized theme
People who visit your site are using mobile devices of varying sizes, operating systems, and manufacturers. Your website should be designed to respond to every mobile device.
Usually, it’s the WordPress theme’s job to offer a responsive design. This is why you need to select a theme carefully. There may be hundreds of thousands of themes to choose from, but not every theme is responsive and ready for mobile viewing.
To help users build faster websites on mobile, we created a lightweight theme called Neve.
Neve’s responsive design ensures that your posts and pages adapt to a visitor’s screen size and device, making your content accessible to everyone. It also ranks among the top three fastest themes for WordPress websites.
💡 Learn more about Neve and give it a try.
3. Optimize images
Images are one of the top three things responsible for slowing your website down on mobile. They take up a lot of space on your server and it takes a while to download them on a browser.
That means optimizing your site’s images is another one of the best solutions for how to increase WordPress website speed in mobile devices.
Luckily there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the negative impact of images on your site.
- Use optimized image formats such as WebP or Avif whenever possible
- Reduce the image size before uploading them (learn about WordPress image sizes)
- Implement lazy loading so that images are downloaded on the browser only when they are needed
- Serve your images over CDN to reduce the load on your site server
- Use an optimization plugin to shave off a few kilobytes from your images
If you want to optimize all of this, you can use the Optimole plugin. Not only will Optimole compress, resize, and convert your images to the optimal format, but it can also dynamically serve optimized images via its CDN.
Current Version: 3.5.7
Last Updated: February 23, 2023
With this multi-pronged approach, mobile visitors will receive smaller images than visitors browsing on, say, a Retina screen, which speeds up your site and means each user gets an image that’s optimized to their browsing experience.
4. Implement caching
With WordPress caching, you can store the finished HTML version of your site instead of forcing your server to process PHP for each visit.
This means that the server can respond with the finished page faster, which leads to faster load times for all your visitors, including those on mobile devices.
You can implement caching via your hosting provider or a caching plugin. Nowadays, many quality WordPress hosts offer their own server-level caching solutions.
You can ask your hosting provider if they offer server caching technology and whether your current plan includes it. If they tell you to upgrade your plan to enable caching, then consider adding a free caching plugin instead.
This can make optimizing your site’s code another important step in how to increase WordPress website speed in mobile devices.
You can optimize your site’s code by performing the following steps:
- Implement Gzip or Brotli compression
To minify, combine and compress files and codes, you need a minify plugin. Luckily, we recently wrote an in-depth guide on the best minify plugins after thoroughly testing them. To eliminate render blocking code, we have a separate tutorial.
6. Review & reduce heavy plugins
While there’s no hard rule on how many plugins your site can have, installing slow-loading and resource-heavy plugins will definitely have an effect on your site’s mobile load times.
Poorly coded plugins hog too many resources from your server leading to a slow loading speed. We recommend reviewing the plugin installed on your website and removing the ones that are poorly coded.
To weed the bad plugins out check reviews left by users in the WordPress plugin repository. Look at the reviews left in the last 12 months and seek the word “slow.”
If it appears in a significant number of reviews, it means that the plugin is to some degree responsible for slowing your site down. Find a better alternative to that plugin, and then remove it from your website.
Unfortunately, diagnosing slow-loading plugins is one of the more technical aspects of how to increase WordPress website speed in mobile.
For more technical users, though, you can also assess plugin performance using the waterfall analysis in a speed test tool and/or a free plugin like Query Monitor.
Current Version: 3.12.0
Last Updated: March 16, 2023
7. Enable AMP (optional)
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and it’s an open-source initiative supported by industry leaders like Google and Twitter. The technology aims to display web pages faster to mobile users.
When you implement AMP, it strips down versions of your posts and pages and serves only the essential elements to your mobile visitors. This makes your site super fast, but it loses many of your carefully crafted design elements. Another drawback of AMP is that there are limited types of ads supported by AMP sites, and some ads are also difficult to implement.
Because it has notable pros and cons, you shouldn’t feel compelled to use AMP. However, AMP is a great way to speed up your site’s mobile performance in a pinch.
👨🎓 To learn more, check out our guide on how to set up AMP on WordPress.
Final thoughts on how to increase WordPress website speed in mobile 🎿
Improving the speed of your website on mobile is not a difficult process, but it certainly is a long one. You need to dedicate some time to carrying out the solutions. Here’s a recap of all the steps you need to take:
- Switch to a faster hosting server
- Use a mobile-optimized WordPress theme, such as Neve
- Use lightweight images and optimize them with a tool like Optimole
- Implement caching on the server level or use a caching plugin
- Review and remove poorly coded plugins
- Consider enabling AMP (optional)
💁🏻 For some other tips on creating a better mobile site, you also might want to read our guide 👉 on creating a mobile-friendly WordPress site.
That’s it, folks. If you have any questions about how to increase WordPress website in mobile, let us know in the comment section below.
Or start the conversation in our Facebook group for WordPress professionals. Find answers, share tips, and get help from other WordPress experts. Join now (it’s free)!