App Speed vs Browser Speed: How Our App Guarantees Super Fast Load Times of Your Blog Pages

Page loading times are a topic of much concern for blog owners. That’s why app speed and page loading time were important concerns when developing our product.

And the result speaks for itself. Our app loads very fast and the WordPress blog pages and posts it incorporates appear in a blink of an eye. But how did we do this?

In this article I’d like to present a number of different strategies that the Holigo App applies that make our app faster than rendering your blog in the brower.

What is the Holigo App?

Holigo App gives WordPress bloggers an affordable and simple way to transform their blog into a native app.  In this series I will go into more detail about how owning your own app can could create lots of unrealised value for your personal or company blog.

1. Apps load in the blink of an eye

When it comes to loading time, every second counts.

Website loading time and page abandonment, holigo app
The longer your pages take to load, the more likely readers will abandon your pages. [1]

But what causes blog pages to load slowly in the browser? To find an answer to this question, let’s take a quick look at the loading process of your WordPress site.

The loading time of your site depends on three different factors:

  1. Website size.
  2. Number of resources loaded.
  3. Loading delay, or time until loading of the first bytes.
Average page load times for 2020, Holigo app
The average website page load times in 2020. [2]

In a nutshell, this means that the more complex your site and pages are, the more time it takes to load your site in the browser. 

So, why do apps load so much faster?

Apps don’t need to load their interface from a remote server. The app’s theme – or UI – is stored locally on your device’s hard drive and therefore loads in the blink of an eye. While this method takes up more storage capacity from your mobile phone, the upside is obvious. As apps load super fast the risk of losing visitor engagement due to too long loading times is brought to a minimum.

Holigo App has a total app size of 29MB, which is comparable to the New York Times (38MB), CNN (46MB), and the Economist (34MB).

But while apps render super fast, apps still load their content from a remote server, and this takes time. So what’s the fix?

2. Apps improve speed by storing content locally on the device

Why make new network requests for content that has been loaded before?

While browsers are able to cache some previously loaded content, WordPress sites make lots of network requests. Making new network requests is essentially what all WordPress sites do on every page refresh. To put this to the test, simply turn off your wifi and refresh your sites home page. Chances are that you will be presented with the following view.

Without internet network requests become possible. Hence Chrome has no other option than to present us with this handsome view.

Apps on the other hand have the ability to store data in a local data store. 

While this data can get discarded once the app is swiped out of the background on certain in certain setups, it is very much possible to persist some of that stored data on your mobile device. The result is that previously loaded data becomes available immediately upon reopening the app or even in offline mode.

This functionality is not limited to mobile applications alone, but I’m betting that your WordPress site makes continuous new network requests or simply renders the dinosaur view when it can’t.

Demonstration of the Holigo App speed on startup

Holigo App implements Redux, which is a powerful local data store solution for Javascript and React Native applications. On top of that, the app applies the Redux Persist library, which make it possible to retrieve previously loaded data the moment the app opens. And this can be either online or offline. This way, the app will always have existing content that it can render while it tries to pull new content off your website servers.

So, even though previously loaded content renders lightening fast, even an app needs to pull new content from the servers on a regular basis. How is this experience any different from visiting your site on a desktop browser?

3. Apps are better at creating a subjective sense of speed

Slow blogging is a lifestyle, but a slow blog is…. well… boring.

But even apps depend on network request to pull in new content. So what tricks do apps apply to keep users engaged while rendering newly fetched content?

Due to their limited screen size, apps are much better at taking the attention away from the loading process by distracting users with vivid animations and rendering pre-loaded bits of information.

This is a huge advantage. On large desktop screens animations must be added with lots of constraint at the risk of over-exposing the senses with too many moving elements. As a result, there are limited ways around presenting website visitors with a mostly blank screen while loading new pages during page navigations.

On the other hand, mobile phones pack the power of a desktop or laptop in a device 1/10th its size. Fewer animations with the same computing powers means an incredibly smooth experience and a powerful tool to engage or distract users while loading new content. 

holigo app speed at page load
A demonstration of how the Holigo App renders a WordPress post on the screen.

Holigo App captures your blog inside it’s own pre-build theme. This method helps to guarantee a modern, crisp look and feel and contains lots of animated screens and components that make the experience stand out from many existing WordPress app builders on the market.

I hope the 3 methods outlined above have given you a bit of insight on how our WordPress app can give your blog visitors a superior experience. If you feel motivated to find out how the Holigo App can help to maximise the potential of your WordPress blog, I invite you to take a moment and try out our demo app on your own mobile device.

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