Thanks to the roll out of high speed ADSL broadband to most of the country, concerns about site loading speeds have diminished somewhat in recent years. In the past, using complex graphics, videos or other “large” files made websites slow to load – even more so on a mobile phone. With an increasingly mobile population reliant on smartphones and tablets to access the web, site owners need to ensure their design is user-friendly whilst keeping up with the latest developments in mobile technology.
The mobile conundrum
The next generation of mobile phone network technology is beginning to roll out across the country. Known as 4G, the new network will provide much faster access to the Internet from mobile devices, allowing for faster transfer of larger files. There are still two major problems for businesses moving hoping to attract mobile shoppers:
1. 4G Penetration
Currently 4G is only available in a few major UK cities, with national roll-out expected to be completed by the end of this year. As such, much of the population is still unable to take advantage of the increased network speeds required to enjoy large images.
2. Mobile handsets
Despite more 4G-enabled handsets becoming available, most UK users are still tied to 3G phones. These devices are not only incapable of drawing large images from the Internet quickly, they also tend to be relatively slow at displaying it.
With these limitations in mind, catering for mobile web users means carefully choosing pictures and site designs that can be delivered efficiently through slower connection to low-powered devices. A mobile-optimised site is the only proper solution to these problems until 4G connectivity becomes more prevalent.