Making Your Website More Mobile Friendly

Accessing the web nowadays is very vital in today’s world as many people are ready to get connected to the businesses online through devices of all types, sizes and makes.

Making a great website that is user friendly on a normal computer is one thing; making one that can be viewed on all kinds of devices is another. This is a great chance only if you have designed your website in such a way that it offers consumers what they need be it on smaller smartphone or huge flat screen computers and tablets.

This article looks at the most practical ways on how to create a website that works seamlessly for your audiences and examine the pros, cons and impact of each that will definitely improve your customers’ satisfaction.

So, what is the best method?

1. Decide on the right technology to apply

There are many ways that can be used to make a mobile friendly website that will fit the needs of your customers and business including business goals and customers’ expectations as well. Depending on the approach you use to configure your website for all screens ensure that it is unique for your website’s brand and business and above all the method should be cost effective and serve all sites just from a single domain, like www.example.com.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the best methods that can be used to make a mobile friendly website. There are actually three types and each method provides a different experience for mobile users: responsive design, a fully separate mobile site and adaptive/RESS/Dynamic design.

Responsive web design (RWD)

This design is a technique that utilizes a single HTML code that is sent from the server to all devices and CSS is used to adjust the depiction of the page on the device. This makes viewing to be uniform on any device since the code originates from the same URL but the content flexes so that it fits on the screen that is being used at the moment. Responsive website design requires prior planning as initial cost is usually higher but once complete, maintenance is quite easy.

Coding

  • Use meta name="viewport"

This instructs the browser to alter the content display.

How to use name="viewport"?

In order to give signal to the browser that the page will adjust to the all screen sizes, the meta tag is added to the head of the document.

<meta name="viewport" content

This meta viewport tag instructs the browser on how to regulate the size and scaling of the width of the screen in use.

In the case that the meta viewport tag is absent, the mobile browsers usually try to make the content of website look better by increasing the font sizes and scaling the content of the website to fully occupy the screen size or by showing only the part of the website that fits to the size of the screen. This happens because mobile browsers try to render the content of the website to be default as per the normal desktop screen dimension. This makes it hard for mobile users since the font sizes of the website content tends to be inconsistent hence forcing them to either pinch to zoom or double tap in order to see clearly the content of the website.

To create a responsive image, include <picture> element.

This is the general rule if your website works well with most current browsers.

Importance of responsive website design technique

Responsive web design is recommended because:

  • It enables the visitors of your website to link to your content using a single URL. This makes managing SEO quite easy thus producing great results since you have a consolidated view of your results.
  • Cost effective. Responsive websites usually take longer to design but they survive longer with minimal or no maintenance required as upgrades only needs to be applied once. This actually saves you time and money.
  • Ensure good user experience. If your websites is designed to flex and conform on any devices that the user chooses makes them happy and this will actually improve your customer satisfaction which leads to more profit for your business.
  • Reduces the probability of experiencing common mistakes that actually affect mobile sites.
  • With responsive web design technique, there is no need for redirection of users and this greatly reduces load time.
  • Improved conversion rate. Optimized sites are consistent no matter the device that is being viewed on hence these increases user experiences as majority of customers are able to engage with you.

Actually, responsive website design strategy is no longer a trend but it is a must. This is because it provides the customers with a beautiful optimized experience no matter the choice of the screen they are viewing your website on. This means that you will have an extended reach of your services and will make you be a leg up in the business world.

Adaptive/RESS/Dynamic design

This method is designed in a way that the website server notices the type and size of the device that is being used by the visitor and then presents a custom page that is designed for that particular device be it a mobile phone, tablet or a large screen smart TV.

In this method of website design, the URL also remains the same but the server is the one that sends different HTML and CSS code with regard to the type of the device that is being used by the visitor.

Of what importance is adaptive web design?
  • There is reduced bandwidth for example sending a video to your site is as short as this: <video src="…"></video>. Instead of longer programming procedure that are used by other prior method.
  • Increased server speed. Ensures render- ready content is delivered to the device on use much faster and also ensures faster page loads.
  • It utilizes the use of a single URL. This is the same as with responsive design where the users are kept only one URL.
Disadvantages of Adaptive website design technique
  • Adaptive programming has some short comings in that there is content forking. This happens because of the multiple sets of same content that are customized for different devices. Incase one doesn’t have sophisticated CMS in place, maintaining content on all the devices can cause some challenges.
  • Secondly, in this kind of website design there are some common mistakes such as faulty device detection. This happens due to scripts ran by servers running out of date causing the scripts to send mobile based platform to tablet users. Another mistake that arise due to the use of this website design technique is that, the server always assumes a device orientation that is mostly portrait for this case, but the user may be holding the device in a landscape position.
  • In addition this web design tends to confuse users due to multiple sites as they appear differently on different devices. To avoid this mistake ensure your brand looks and feel should be recognized as the same on all the devices.

Adaptive website design is best suited for large companies that frequently make changes to their websites. However a capable professional is required to be in charge of the intricate sets of websites code that are required.

Creating a different mobile site

This is the third option where the web designer may choose to create a different mobile site that is different in structure to the desktop version of the website. This works in such a way that the website systems detects and redirects all mobile users to a different mobile optimized website and this usually uses another domain name often a sub-domain to the main domain, like m.example.com.

This allows only the mobile users to see the mobile site while users on other devices such as tablets, smart TVs will always see your desktop site.

This method has some advantages as it enable you to customize user experience and an easy time while making changes to the website as you can decide to make changes only to the desktop site without affecting the mobile version of the website.

However this method has its own setbacks due to multiple URLs that are created and this means that sharing a website requires the redirection and integration to be made carefully between the mobile version of the website and your desktop version. This also increases the time it takes to load the web pages.

Common mistakes that arise due to the use of this kind of website design are; faulty redirects, missing annotations and inconsistent user experience.

2. Design a website that will ensure great user experience.

A great website design is just beyond basic setup and configuration. Practically a mobile friendly website contains three parts; speed, layout and content.

Layout

For the best mobile user experience on your website layout should actually stand out. It should be designed in such a way that it is touch- friendly and uses the right font. The minimum set font should be actually 12 pixels and anything smaller; your mobile users will be having a hard time trying to read the content of your website.

You should also set the right width for your website. Normally people are used to scrolling from top to bottom therefore avoid situations where the users are forced to scroll sideways and above all minimize the use of mouse- overs pop- ups, predictive bottoms just label everything clearly.

Content

To improve mobile user experience on your website, just ensure that you do not overload the users, try as much as possible to go straight to the point.

In addition, you should simplify your check out procedure however you can because it’s very tedious in filling out lengthy forms on mobile platforms so ensure that your payment procedure is made easy so as to increase your conversion rates. You can achieve this by enabling Google wallet immediate buy or other related services that simplify the check out process.

Speed

You can achieve this by building pages that loads really fast. According to the research done by Gomez, every online shopper expects a page to load in less than two seconds and more than that 40% of them leave the website. Your website design should also be easy to navigate so as not to frustrate your audience as majority of them may leave the website with no likelihood of returning. Take your time to improve usability of your website. This is achieved through:

  • Naming each page appropriately. Ensure that each sub-navigation corresponds to the main navigation and ensure that there is no overcrowding.
  • Place your website logo to the top left corner of your website. This is important as it makes your audience aware of the site owner and relates with the content of the website. Also ensure that the logo provides the direct link to the website’s homepage.
  • Search functionality should be provided. This is vital as it enables visitors to easily find information that they are actually looking for.
  • Add contact information. Make sure that it’s easily accessible to contact you for enquiries when need arises.
  • Cutting down on page elements that facilitate too many HTTP requests. This is because bandwidth available may be unreliable to enable the mobile user to browse faster than their desktop counterparts.
  • Avoid image and file overload. Ensure that the right image size and file is served to the right device.

So, why should you make your website mobile more friendly?

Well, designing a website is actually a big challenge and usually even the pros in web design do make mistakes. This can be attributed to the technology advancement as we realize new internet gadgets coming in yearly. Here are some reasons that will compel you to make your website mobile friendly and keep all your users happy.

Think of the user. What are the customers’ expectations of your website? They expect a website that will render correctly on any device that they choose to use any time and at any place. If you don’t provide all that be sure you are providing a poor user experience and this is greatly affecting your returns. Using a multi-screen strategy will keep you a head of your competitors due to the growing number of mobile web users that is expected to reach even un extraordinary high in the coming year. As a result a more mobile friendly website is a must have to ensure success of any business. In fact its that time that you should arise and group your team altogether and plan a strategy that best suits your business because what works for others may not work for you thus build a website that will engage and pleasure your customers.

References

You can visit the following sites for more information.

Like it? Share it.

2 Comments

  1. With so many different screen sizes out there now responsiveness is one of the most important and most difficult things to crack. It helps to improve your SEO, engage your viewers, and opens up the number of devices which can access your website thereby increasing traffic. It’s difficult due to the various sizes and knowing what works best for small screen as opposed to large screens as well as the intentions of the users of those respective screens is very nuanced.

  2. Great writing. It can truly be really hard sometimes to optimize for all devices, but I think today users simply just leave your page in a heartbeat if it is not optimized, so I find it most important.

Leave a Comment Yourself

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *