Mobile vs desktop page speed

Mobile vs desktop page speed

If you have been reading some of our blogs, you would have learnt about page speed already, and how important it is for the efficiency of your ecommerce online websites. As we often say here at Seventyfour, page speeds can directly affect the SEO of your website, UX experiences and importantly sale conversions.

In this blog we chat about page speed, the differences between mobile and desktop page speeds and what tools to use to improve your website’s speed. So, let’s get you up to speed on these platforms!

‘Page load speed’ is used to explain the time it takes for a webpage to load. And the load time is the time it takes for a webpage to load all components like images, forms, links, buttons and so forth.

To get you further up to speed there are two more terms to know. Time to First Byte (TTFB) and Time to Interactive (TTI). TTFB is the time it takes for a webpage to load the first element and is generally indicative of how fast the server is loading. The second TTI is the time it takes for the interactive elements of your webpage to load, and this is generally indicative of whether your website’s JavaScript has errors which can slow things down.

PageSpeed Insights is one of the popular tools from Google that can read a webpage and then generate a report with speed times, reasons why a webpage is loading slowly and suggestions on how to remedy any issues. This tool is a great way of measuring the overall performance of your website.

For more of an in-depth analysis on each webpage’s speed another good speed test to try is the Experte Bulk Speed test. It is free and includes data for each webpage including terms like TTFB -mentioned above.

When using a tool like PageSpeed Insights, you’ll find that after running your website’s URL through it, the scores for different platforms like mobile and desktops will be different. And generally, it is the mobile platform with the lower page speed scores.

The top reasons for this are a) PageSpeed Insights reads the mobile network more slowly than other platforms. This happens because mobile devices themselves can run on slower and less powerful connections compared to desktops, and b) mobiles have their own specific way of re-sizing the different elements on a webpage such as images. This is known as mobile CSS language rules, which are slower than how a desktop reads its own JavaScript language to load a page.

Additionally, because mobiles have more rules when downloading elements of a webpage, including re-sizing for smaller dimensions, a good tip is to watch how you are optimising for mobiles. Making mistakes when optimising can also slow down your website’s load time.

Another thing to add is that standard tools like PageSpeed Insights will generally show page speed scores for mobiles that are loaded over a slower 3G connection. When, if you are using a mobile connected to fast Wi-Fi, page speed scores shouldn’t be that much slower than desktops.


To make sure you are getting the most accurate page speed scores, or results try using Google Lighthouse to audit your website in conjunction with PageSpeed Insights. If you do choose this tool, make sure to run it in ‘incognito mode’. By using this type of browser over a standard browser then extensions won’t affect your page speed scores.

Google Lighthouse is useful because it looks at your website’s overall performance by running tests and providing scores, but also gives detailed suggestions on not just performance but also SEO and accessibility etc.

As ecommerce website owners we all know the faster the website loading speeds the better it is for our users and customers. And this just seems to be getting more and more important as time rolls on. So, what else can you do to help your website page speed scores? Check out this webfx blog and
the daily egg blog for some quick top list suggestions.