How do websites work on mobile?


Can someone confirm or debunk how phones process websites? Is it true that a phone browser must download the entire site before displaying a single page? Or, is it just that they must only download the page you’re visiting, like a desktop browser does?

Also, what tool(s) do you recommend/use to see how the total size of the site download?

Thank you!

I doubt it, that does not make much sense at all.

I don’t know of a tool that checks the whole of a site, only ones that will measure per page.
I sometimes use Pingdom, it’s more about testing speed, but gives info of the data size of all requests and a total for the page.


Likewise, I don’t know of a tool which will tell you the size of the entire site, but the Web Developer Toolbar - available for Firefox and Chrome (and I think Opera, too) - has an option to show the size of a page. It will list all the resources called, plus their size, so you can see how many server requests you’re making, as well as the total size.

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If you have a hosting control panel like Cpanel it has a feature that shows you how many megabytes each folder contains (often called “Disk Usage” or something similar), just use the total for your /public_html folder and you won’t be far off the total file size for the site.


How would that even be possible?! How would a phone (or anything else for that matter) know what pages make the website. I’m pretty sure most webservers stop browsers interrogating all folders/files for contents. A link has to point to a specific page and the browser make that request to the server which then returns that page (assuming it exists). If i put up a page ‘’ unless i link to that in theory nobody should be able to find that unless they are very good at guessing or have a program to constantly ask for random pages. The same reason why google won’t index pages that aren’t linked from anywhere as it won’t be able to find them.

I also use pingdom for checking size/speed and FF for checking image size.

I use Pingdom, GT Metrix and Google Pagespeed Insights to test performance of my web pages, In theory the mobile should only try to download resources from the pages you visit, the first 2 I mention have a waterfall view which is very useful for knowing the file sizes of each request…

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OK, thank you all for your replies. I appreciate you all taking the time to help me out with these questions.