Almost everyone has a cell phone these days. It’s hard to live a productive, connected life without one.
It’s no surprise that more people are using their phones to browse the web than on desktop devices. This is a big sea change in the way consumers look for information and has huge implications for businesses and their online presences.
If you do not have a mobile-optimized version of your website, you could be missing out on over half of your potential client base. In the year 2018, there is no excuse to not have a mobile-friendly website for your business or company.
Behind the times? The good news is that mobile optimization doesn’t have to be difficult. Read on and we’ll discuss how to optimize your website for mobile users.
What Is Optimization?
Every year people around the globe spend more and more time on their mobile phones, tablets, and other devices. These mobile devices have different screen sizes and display ratios than a traditional desktop computer.
Opening a desktop-oriented website on a mobile device can lead to a very bad user experience. Links and buttons might be too tiny and difficult to press on a touchscreen. Website layout may appear disoriented or inappropriately arranged for the platform.
Desktop oriented website designs can take much longer to load on a mobile device. This can leave many potential customers waiting and frustrated.
Failing to meet the needs of the mobile user is one of the huge mistakes novice web designers make– and it can be a fatal one.
Optimization is the process of making your website work beautifully for the modern mobile user. Mobile optimization takes a look at site design, site structure, page speed, and more to make sure you’re not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away.
A mobile site should have very few distractions. Mobile users are much more likely to be focused on one specific activity and less interested in browsing and clicking around your site than desktop users.
Google now prioritizes websites with mobile optimization ahead of other results. So if you’re not a running a mobile-optimized site, not only may your page visitors be frustrated, but they may never even find your site to begin with.
Encourage Yourself To Think Mobile-First
Many businesses have a very traditional way of thinking about their web presence. This way of thinking usually means building a strong and detailed desktop website as the first order of business.
If you have yet to create a website for your business, company, or even personal use, consider tossing this idea aside as potentially antiquated.
With the majority of web browsers now being mobile users, you can and should consider putting their needs first. Take a look user base and the product and service you are providing.
If you have a strong sense that most of your users will be accessing your site from mobile, start building your mobile web page right away.
Compress Images and Unneeded Space
If you’re having trouble shifting your layout to a mobile-friendly look, try compressing some of the images and space on your page.
For example, take a look at the website for Gamma Telecom on both your desktop and mobile device. Note the significant difference in page layout. Images and space have been compressed on the mobile version to create a better browsing experience.
There’s a large number of tools available online that can help make this task simple and easy. Script compressors such as GZip or HTML compressor can automatically remove unnecessary comments, white space, and code from your site design.
There are a number of CSS compressors available online as well that can concentrate the CSS code of your website and improve site performance. Image compression should downsize your image files without losing quality or resolution.
Optimizing images and code on your site can make it more visually attractive to a mobile user and increase speed and performance– a real two birds with one stone kind of situation.
Design For Touch
Something many first-time site designers seem to forget is that mobile users operate their devices solely by touch.
The human finger is a much less precise and pointed tool than the mouse, and your mobile optimized website should reflect the difference between these platforms.
Your design should be easy to navigate with fingers of all sizes and shapes. Users shouldn’t have to pinch too much or zoom in to be able to interact with your site.
Mis-taps are common on mobile websites, and your design should have large enough buttons and spaces between buttons to account for these kinds of errors.
Implement Responsive Web Design
There are many different kinds of mobile devices in the marketplace: iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Blackberries, Netbooks and more. Each of these devices has a different resolution that your mobile website needs to adapt to in order to display well.
Keeping up with the huge number of devices could be exhausting if you were to design each mobile variation from scratch. That’s why most mobile web designers use responsive design.
Responsive design consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images, and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As a user switches from a desktop site to a mobile one, the website should switch to accommodate for resolution, image size, and scripting abilities.
In other words, a well-designed mobile website should have the technology to respond to a user’s device and preferences. This eliminates the need for a different design and development phase for each new device that hits store shelves.
Implementing Mobile Optimization
Making sure you employ mobile optimization for your website is not just a preference in the modern age, but a necessity. A mobile-friendly and responsive website will ensure the best user experience for all visitors to your site.
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