How to improve site speed with Progressive Web App

For publishers, speed matters. As the adoption of mobile is growing among internet users, having a website that loads pages and contents quickly is paramount. In this blog post, we will see how to improve the speed of your website  and why Progressive Web Apps can be a valuable and functional solution to do so.


Why website speed matters?

Generally, publishers tend to focus most of their efforts on the design and the content of their websites. However, these efforts might become ineffective if the webpages load slowly or not completely. Indeed, users lose their patience when their web experience is slow and frustrating, and easily end up leaving the website, with negative consequences for the publisher. This applies even more for mobile users, who expect websites to be not only  fast-loading but also easy to explore.

Here are some numbers. Google data show that currently 75% of mobile websites load in more than 10 seconds, and 53% of users leave a mobile website after just 3 seconds of waiting. Furthermore, according to Google, conversions (that is, when a simple user becomes a customer) fall by 12% for every extra second of loading time. Therefore, if you are planning to sell subscriptions to your publication, and your site takes, say, 6 seconds to load, you might be losing 36% of potential customers every day. That’s quite a lot.

In the future, users could be informed of the speed of a website even before opening it. Google has recently announced that it is planning to identify sites that typically load quickly or slowly with clear badging in Chrome. And for sure, getting a badge for not being fast could have a negative impact on the image of the website and its publisher. That’s why it is important to take actions in order to improve the speed of your website.

How to improve the speed of your website

Loading speed depends on many factors. Mostly it is related to the size (byte-wise) of the website components. Images, for example: if they are too big, or if they come in suboptimal file formats, they could reduce website speed substantially. Loading time can also increase if there are too many page redirects, too many plugins, or long server response times. Even advertising bears its share of responsibility: too many ads on a webpage, or some rich media ad formats, can have negative effects on loading speed; same for too many ad call passbacks between one ad server and another.

That said, it’s possible to improve the speed of a website. But how? First of all, you need to evaluate your site performance. There are many tools to do so. Google, for example, offers PageSpeed Insights, a service that measures page performance for desktop and mobile devices, rating speed and user experience, and identifying potential issues. Another tool is Lighthouse, an open-source service for improving the quality of web pages, that evaluates the website’s performance directly in the browser; it has audits for performance, accessibility and more.

After having confirmed that there is a speed issue, you need to review all its possible causes, including those described above. In this guide, Google gives some useful tips on how to improve aspects of your website that may have a negative impact on loading speed.  

However, if there are multiple issues that jeopardize the speed of your website, – as it’s often the case – trying to solve them one by one can be rather involved. In this case, the best solution could be the so called Progressive Web Apps.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a middle ground between an app and a website. Basically, it’s a mobile web page enriched with the typical features of an app, such as the possibility for users to access its contents offline or to have the site saved on their mobile screens, the ability for publishers to send push notifications and, last but not least, a faster speed when loading contents and going from one page to another. The interface too is closer to that of an app, for example, with the typical full-screen view. A PWA has the lightweight structure of an app, but it doesn’t require the user to download it from an app store, as it is downloaded in the background when the user visits the website for the first time. Thanks to this light structure, a PWA guarantees a positive web experience, an indispensable factor for having users back on the site again in the future.

What is Clickio Prism?

As part of its offer, Clickio launched Prism, a technology to transform any content site into a progressive web app. At the core of this solution there is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), a mobile-optimized technology developed by Google. Thanks to the library Shadow AMP, Prism can apply customized scripts and widgets, in order to tailor a progressive web app to the specific needs of the publisher.

Prism can offer many features to publishers, from instantly swiping between articles to recommending relevant and engaging content below or within articles.

Last but not least, Prism allows publishers to optimize the ad layout of their website, improving user experience and increasing revenues. Using machine learning, Prism tests several parameters, such as device and connection speed, content distribution and user behavior, placing ad units in the most performing positions. Such an adaptive ad layout increases viewability and improves page load speed, ultimately boosting publishers’ reputation and yields. 

Prism is the perfect solution for publishers who want to improve the speed of their website, while guaranteeing a pleasant and engaging user experience to their audience.

Contact us if you want to know more about it.

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