How To Make A Website Mobile Friendly?
The digital world of business has become a harsh place to reach the top of the food chain. Even harder is the challenge to remain on the top once you reach it.
However, one of the best solutions to this challenge is to adapt to the needs of your target audience. When in doubt, always accommodate the needs of your potential customers.
And when you take into consideration that more than 80 per cent of online users have mobile devices and that more than half of traffic online comes from those mobile users, you get a clear image of how vital it is to make a website mobile friendly.
We are here to bring you that insight.
How did we come to this vital need for mobile responsive websites?
Ever since the introduction of smartphones and Internet access from mobile devices, we started an avalanche.
And this avalanche has been growing for the last decade, each year bigger and bigger.
Ultimately, 2016 brought us to a point where mobile internet usage surpassed that of desktop usage.
And as a direct result, website owners began adapting to the newly found needs of potential clients.
This is how we also came to the notion of various industries such as realtors, e-commerce, and movers using CRM software solutions. Anything to impress and manage the flow of new potential clients.
And slowly, we came to the situation we find ourselves in this modern predicament – where not having a mobile-friendly website leads to:
- Devaluation of your entire website
- Loss of potential clients and revenue
- Failure to attract a vast amount of online traffic your way
However, you can avoid all this easily.
All you need to do is take the time to hire an in-house or 3rd party web development team and convert your current website into one that is mobile responsive and friendly.
Simple as it might sound, this conversion is a process and once you would be wise to plan out. It’s always best to take the slower, detailed approach than rushing things unnecessarily.
Ten steps to help make your website mobile friendly
For those lost on the subject of how to make a mobile responsive website, we offer you this practical guide.
Our professional take on the 10 essential steps that will ensure that your website is optimized for mobile phone users and their unique needs:
#1: Start by making your website responsive
Search engine providers such as Google note this as their preferred format for mobile websites. The point is to make sure that all users (no matter the device) get identical information from your website.
How do you achieve this?
By taking the time to make sure that your website design changes to adapt to any device you access it from.
That means that you need to arrange and code all the elements of your website to adjust to certain screen sizes.
By doing so, you are able to guarantee the same information and layout for all website visitors, no matter the device.
It’s a visual and esthetical boost, but it also offers value to your website in terms of SEO.
However, this is not something that just anyone can do.
The amount of skill and time it takes to create a responsive website is high, so make sure to either hire or consult a professional developer.
Another option here is to search for a website builder that has mobile friendly templates incorporated in its offer. Note that this is the very first step you need to take to make your website mobile friendly.
#2: Enable people to easily find the information they search for
When browsing the web using mobile phones, most people tend to be in a hurry.
Whether they are commuting, looking to pass the time while waiting in line or in search for specific information, they need answers and they need them as quickly as possible.
And it is important for your website to be able to provide them with those answers with a few simple clicks.
The best way to ensure this is by incorporating a search bar on the mobile version of your website. One that will give people the chance to find what they are looking for within seconds.
Another practical element to have on your website is an FAQ page. Of course, it doesn’t need to be as detailed as the one for the desktop version, but simply to offer short and direct answers for any mobile users.
#3: Avoid using Flash
Several years ago, Flash fell out of favor in the eyes of search engine algorithms. Not only can it significantly slow down website speed, but there are devices where it fails to perform altogether.
Another crucial fact to consider here is that neither Android or iOS devices support Flash.
Hence, if you wish to make a website mobile friendly, you would be wise to avoid using flash to do so. Instead, find a web design that works without the use of Flash animations.
#4: Incorporate a viewport meta tag
This is the simplest way to check just how your website will look on mobile phones and other devices. If the page in question opens up as the same width on the screen of your phone as it does on your desktop, then something is not right.
You’re in for some frustrating scrolling from side to side to be able to read all the content on the page.
What the viewport meta tag does is communicate to browsers to fit the width of your page to the scree of the device in question.
And to accomplish this, all you need to do is paste this onto the HTML for each page:
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>
#5: Make sure to turn off the autocorrect option for forms
Forms are tricky for all users. And you have marketers still struggling with the best way to design the forms on websites for users to fill out.
However, one of the better ways to help users save time and energy (especially mobile phone users) is turning off the autocorrect form.
A simple modification on your end, but one that means a lot to the overall user experience of for your website.
Rather than having people struggle with their phone trying to push autosuggestion on to them, they will be able to type in the information as they see fit.
As a result, people are less likely to give up on filling out the form, or making any mistakes while doing so. To make this modification, you need only include autocorrect=off in the HTML.
#6: Adjust the size of the buttons to mobile devices
Small buttons can be frustrating and nobody likes having to deal with them. Having a mouse is all nice and great, but what happens when you don’t have one nearby?
What happens when you need to click a button on a small smartphone screen? If that button is small, this will already be a challenge. And if there are several buttons to click, this can easily turn into a nervous breakdown.
So, rather than annoying your mobile device users endlessly, why not take this potential problem out of the equation completely.
Start by testing all the buttons that you have on your website for mobile phone users. And take the time to test any new buttons that you add on your inner pages.
It will make all the difference in your efforts to make a website mobile friendly.
#7: Use larger font sizes
Reading on smaller screens is difficult enough for most people, but having to do so with a tiny font is close to impossible.
So, why not make things easier for everyone and use a font size of at least 14px on webpages.
Of course, as with everything else mentioned here, make sure to test it all out and how it might influence the layout of your pages.
When it comes to the choice of fonts, it’s best to stick to standards fonts.
Introducing any special or unique fonts can only slow down page loading speed and draw attention from the message you wish to convey.
#8: Compress CSS and your images
You always want to keep your focus on the loading speed of your website.
And this is particularly important when it comes to mobile phone users, where patience is in high demands and short supply.
The best way to ensure the optimal speed for the mobile version of your website is to compress anything that normally takes up a lot of space.
By this, we refer primarily to high-resolution images and your CSS. By compressing them, you can boost your website speed instantly, especially for mobile phone users.
#9: Make switching to desktop version easy to do
One of the ways to answer the needs of customers is to offer them as much flexibility as possible.
So, giving mobile phone users the option to switch to the desktop version of your website is always a good step to take.
Certain users have different preferences and this one of them. You want your visitors to be able to interact with your website in a way that makes the most sense for them.
#10: Testing is a must when the aim is to make a website mobile friendly
Testing the mobile version of your website is not a choice – it is a necessity.
This is a vital part of the conversion process – one that you need to do regularly.
So, make sure to take the time out of your day every now and then to go through your website functionality by using your mobile phone.
You can also employ your staff to do the same – it never hurts to have a fresh set of eyes.