With so much web traffic coming from mobile phones, building a mobile-friendly website that mobile phone users find easy to use and navigate is non-negotiable. Content and webpages load differently across platforms, including layout and load times, so different design principles and techniques should be incorporated to account for that.
If you have yet to build your business’ site, or you are currently considering ways to boost your traffic, user experience, and SEO across platforms, take a few minutes to read the below ten tips for creating a successful mobile-friendly website.
Cut out flash
Most web designers stopped using flash several years ago because it was slow to load, increased bounce, and was generally bad for SEO. Sometimes flash just straight up refuses to load. A mobile-friendly site is one that uses little to no flash elements.
Incorporate responsiveness principles
A responsive website is one that adjusts layout and content so that it displays optimally across different devices. You can make your website more responsive manually, and you can also use several popular plugins that site builders like WordPress provide for just such purposes.
Make your key information front and centre across platforms
One of the main problems mobile web users encounter online is unresponsive, difficult to navigate sites. Web design best practices include having your navigation bar visible and accessible at all times. Make sure mobile visitors can navigate your site as easily as they would be able to on a desktop/laptop.
Make use of the Viewport meta tag
The Viewport meta tag is what tells browsers to adjust the page width based on the kind of device being used to access a site. A page that opens with the same width across devices makes for bad user experience.
Get rid of the autocorrect option on forms
This simply means turning off the autocorrect tool when a visitor has come to your site via mobile. When autocorrect is on, especially when it comes time to fill in address and contact information fields, a visitor’s phone will be constantly changing entries to more common words and language, which gets annoying.
Tailor your button sizes for mobile
There is nothing more frustrating for a mobile user than having to zoom in to click on a microscopically small button. You can make your site dramatically more mobile friendly by choosing larger buttons. Button size shows up time and time again on lists of the most importantly mobile-friendly features.
Keep your font sizes large
This is in the same vein as the last feature. Reading on a phone screen can be difficult at the best of times, and even more so if your site’s font is already incredibly small. Choose fonts that are at least size 14 for your website – your mobile users will be grateful.
Make sure your images and CSS are compressed
If you have anything on your site that takes up a lot of space and is slow to load, compress it. Things like high-resolution images and your CSS are likely the biggest and longest parts of your site to load. Compressing large items makes them load faster, without compromising on quality.
Make it easy to switch to desktop view
While mobile visitors like mobile-friendly design, it does not mean there won’t be some who would like to see the desktop version (for various reasons). This is especially true if you have designed your site around mobile traffic, rather than simply built a responsive site.
Always test your site’s responsiveness and mobile friendliness
If mobile friendliness and user experience are a top priority, there is only one way to make sure your site is on point: you have to test it out. This simply means accessing your site and navigating it using your mobile device. Ask people you know for feedback in case you are missing something.
We live in an increasingly mobile-dominated world, and there is no way around it. As phones become more sophisticated and better suited to browsing the web, and internet access becomes more universal in our daily lives, web traffic will only keep growing. Keep the above mobile-friendly design principles in mind and make sure you aren’t losing out on valuable mobile traffic.