Meet your Visitors on a Mobile Friendly Website
By Nicholas Hurd
A mobile friendly website is crucial to the prosperity of your online store. If you ask how important mobile devices are, the one-word answer will be: very. Website traffic from mobile devices has almost doubled in the past four years. In 2014 it reached 48.9% of all traffic worldwide. Internet usage via mobile devices has also worked its way into our lives. The temptation is irresistible: we can make purchases on the go and access information everywhere, anytime.
No doubt, the world is going mobile. You have tried hard to lead users to your website, so you do not want to ruin their experience by a destination which is unsuitable for mobile browsing, is loading heavily, and looks nitty-bitty on a small screen.
Designing a mobile friendly website for convenient, beneficial usage may seem challenging at first. However, the liberating news is: mobilizing a website is not difficult! Let us quickly walk you through the paths of creating a mobile-friendly web presence.
Mobile Friendly Website Version First
We recommend having the mobile friendly website version of your website first. Why? The space limit gives you a good reason to effectively sort out the most important information and features. After you have set your priorities for a mobile device, it will be easier to design a desktop version where you have plenty of space to improvise. Make sure the newly designed site works properly on any device: iPhone, iPad, Android mobile devices, Android tabs, and Windows mobile devices.
Redesign the existing website
If “mobile first” option is not feasible, you can go two ways.
Design for responsive websites.
The idea behind is simple: responsive themes detect the screen size and orientation of a web page and change the layout accordingly. Navigation and reading are optimized, with a minimum of scrolling and resizing. Consider both purchasable and free of charge options while acquiring responsive themes.
Some further tips will help you stand out for your users.
Simplify the pages. People on mobile devices seek for an experience different from desktop users: mostly they need quick directions to your office, a click-to-call phone number and possibility to make a purchase. Keep the layout streamlined and the most required information “above the front”. Consult Google Analytics to see how users behave on your website and which pages are most frequently visited.
Adjust font size. Obviously, your users should not zoom in and out countless times to read something.
Make it thumb-friendly. If the buttons are not large enough for fingers, chances are big that your users will end up on a wrong place. Don’t embarrass them with tiny spaces.
Create a Distinct Mobile Friendly Website Version of Your Website.
The second way is having a distinct subdomain to locate your mobile site as in case of Facebook: m.facebook.com (the letter “m” is added before the domain name). Be aware that there are tradeoffs when you choose this approach ─ you post information on two websites and will end up having duplicate content. It’s no secret, Google encourages a one-URL approach for high rankings in search results. Consequently, you should set priorities first and pick up the most rewarding strategy afterwards. Remember that choosing to ignore your mobile audience will be the worst decision.
As soon as you have your mobile website, give it a try. Navigate through it to find any drawbacks you want to fix:
- Does it load fast enough?
- Is everything readable?
- Do the images and videos display properly?
- Are all pages available and easy-to-find?
- Is it possible to make a purchase? (Important: go through the whole process of it).
Fortunately, free tools are created to help you see how your website looks on various mobile devices. You simply type in your URL here and get your custom report in a few seconds. Six most commonly used mobile devices are at your disposal: iPhone (4, 4S, 5), Nexus, Samsung Galaxy, iPad, and a desktop view for comparison.
As a result, you may need to do some adjustments or plan a complete redesign. If you are totally satisfied with what you see, congratulations! However, never stop testing ─ an essential tool to make sure your website provides the most satisfying experience possible.
Create a mobile friendly website presence ─ allow your visitors to save precious time and get the necessary information effortlessly. Keep in mind that if you do not reach your audience through mobile devices, you will miss out compared to your competitors. Make your users’ pleasant experience a top priority and try your best to look good on any screen.