3 Tips for Developing a Mobile Friendly Website
In the event that your website isn’t “mobile friendly”, then you should take a close look at it and seriously consider converting it to a mobile website. In fact, converting your existing website or making a new website mobile-friendly is no longer discretionary—it is a must.
Google currently utilizes the portability of a site in its rankings and penalizes sites that aren’t streamlined for cell phones and tablets.
Here are 3 tips for developing a Mobile-Friendly website you may find useful.
1. Understand User Experience.
Perhaps the most important feature of a mobile-friendly website is its ease of use. Nobody wants to visit a website that is difficult to use, therefore you should begin by looking at your present site on your own mobile device. On the off chance that you need to zoom in and out to look at everything, or it takes a few tries to navigate to another page, you’ve gotten a clear perspective on the adaptable experience you are forcing your clients to undergo.
Your site should load as fast as possible without significant delays on desktop computers, tablets, and cell phones. Site speed has been a ranking element since 2010, however there’s been renewed emphasis on speed particularly in connection with mobile sites.
Why is speed important? Basically, it’s because we, as a whole, have limited attention spans. As web surfers, we anticipate that sites should load quickly and will just go elsewhere when they don’t.
2. Use A Responsive Design Framework.
When developing a mobile-friendly website, HTML frameworks are extremely useful tools. However, although a dedicated mobile website has its good points—they are often easier to develop than incorporating responsiveness into your current site, and are often cheaper to create—going down this route means you will need to maintain two separate websites, uploading changes to both. This could prove time-consuming, and costly if both sites do not contain the same information. According to The Huffington Post, “a mobile site is better than nothing, but what Google recommends is the use of Responsive Design—a website that has one base of code and a design that responds to the size of the user’s device.”
Wikipedia states that “Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes.”
Which means no matter what you use to view a website, the pages will be displayed in a manner that makes them easy to read.
Good responsive websites use a combination of HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to make the pages “fluid” in nature. Text and images will be reordered and resized so as to fit in the available viewing area, but not so small that you can’t read what is on the page.
3. Think With Your Fingers.
When you design your website, consider the fact that visitors may be using their phone or tablet in addition to their desktop computer. Visitors will probably browse your site using their fingers or thumbs rather than a mouse, and if they have to pinch the screen to zoom in or out, then the site is not really optimized for mobile devices. Use CSS files to have components on your pages measured in percentages rather than fixed pixel dimensions, thereby automatically making them flow to fit the viewer’s screen.
Media queries enable the page to utilize various CSS style rules dependent on attributes of the device the site is being shown on, most generally the width of the browser. They can also be used to resize your navigation menu into a “hamburger icon” which is really a menu image. Tapping or clicking on the icon opens up the menu, giving the viewer access to the entire list of pages not visible on the screen.
To sum up:
If you need to develop a mobile-friendly website, it should be inviting to users and contain information relevant to your target audience. It should also be able to be viewed across a wide spectrum of devices, screen sizes, and resolutions. All images, text, and links should be easily accessible and legible across various platforms and devices, especially on smaller screens like smartphones.