Ever try to launch a mobile application and get nothing but a spinning wheel? You're not alone. 74% of users will leave a mobile website if it does not load after five seconds, according to a survey conducted by Compuware, a software company. People are more patient with apps, as 50% of users will tolerate load times longer than five seconds. What is slowing down your apps?

Mobile websites and applications load slowly for a variety of reasons. Websites often have to pull in information from a variety of sources and assemble it into a page. For instance, you have probably experienced a page where the content you are looking for loads before the accompanying advertisements. That happens because the content is coming from the publisher's server while the ads are coming from third-party servers. The more servers a page draws upon, the more slowly it will load. 

Then there are the sizes of the component files. Ever wonder why some beautifully designed pages just will not load in your browser? Your Internet connection is probably not ready to handle the page because it has a variety of third-party sources along with way too many large pieces. All those graphics and videos may look nice in the design studio, but when you move the page to a smartphone or tablet with limited data functionality, it is just going to get bogged down. 

Speed is essential on the Web. The longer a page takes to load, the more likely it is that a user will navigate to something else. When a page loads seamlessly, users hardly notice that someone on the back end is doing a good job. When it takes time to load, they moan and complain and tell their friends how much the site stinks. It is a tricky problem.

Companies like Google are trying to make the Internet faster. That includes speeding up broadband access (the company is trying to bring 1-Gigabit/second Internet access to Kansas City) and accelerating basic Web protocols through SPDY. Akamai, a company whose mission is to make the Internet faster, has been working with mobile carriers to speed up their networks. Businesses stand to make millions of dollars for every millisecond of time saved online. 

Check out the infographic below. What are you doing to improve your site’s performance in the Age of Mobile?