10 Tips For Making A Mobile Friendly Website

How important is a mobile friendly device? The answer is it is very important.

80% of the top websites, according to the Alexa rankings, have been optimized for mobile phones. Also, 80% of all internet users have smartphones and use it to browse web pages.

Since everyone seems to have their mobile phone attached to them at all times, why would you not want to take advantage of this opportunity and make your website mobile friendly?

Having a mobile friendly site means that it’s easy to read the text, click on the links, navigate through the site, and consume the content on a mobile phone.

Here are ten tips on how to make any website mobile friendly.

1. Install A Responsive Theme

To learn how to make your website responsive on mobile, the solution might be simple if it is a low-traffic site or a new website. You can easily change your theme to a new responsive theme. 

Here is a responsive mobile web design tutorial if you are using WordPress. Go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to “appearance,” and then “themes,” and then “install themes.” Once there, you can type “responsive” into the search bar to pull up all the responsive themes. There are hundreds of both free and premium themes you can choose from on WordPress. That helps to convert your WordPress site into a mobile friendly version.

Once you have selected the one that works best for the design of your site, install it, and then you will have done the first steps towards creating a mobile friendly site.

Install A Responsive Theme

2.  Make Your Menu More Simple

Because the mobile web size of a website page is much smaller than a desktop page, you must consider this when you are creating a mobile friendly website.

On your desktop version of your site, it can be longer and have more options. However, if you don’t want the visitors to have to zoom in or out to see all the menu options, you must make everything a little more concise and straightforward.

To create a mobile website from an existing website, try to cut down the fluff of your website, and only include the essential navigational tools. To learn how to adapt sites for mobile devices, you should evaluate your current website, and think about things such as what menu options are necessary? And what can you combine?

Every option should be able to fit directly on the screen and have a clear navigational direction. You likely will want to eliminate the sidebar that many websites will use because on the mobile view of your website, it will get pushed down to the bottom of the site, making it almost unusable.

3. Shorten Your Forms

You might have noticed a theme on these tips on how to adapt your website for mobile devices. Once again, you want to make the elements on your website as simple as possible and try to trim up and shorten your forms. 

When you are creating a form for your mobile website, consider if you actually need every line. A long and difficult checkout process, especially on a mobile device, is one of the biggest reasons for your potential customers abandoning their shopping cart.

4. Have A Simple Design

The best mobile friendly website design is more simple than it might be on the desktop version. When things are too large, it becomes too complicated to load on the mobile device without going super slow.

Simple designs are better because it helps to keep the attention span of any mobile visitor that might come to your website. You want to keep everything accessible for them and in a beautiful, professional design.

Have A Simple Design

5. Add A Search Function

This is another design element to consider to make your website more mobile friendly. If you are having trouble shortening your mobile menu, add in a search bar to get around this.

Having a search function can reduce that need to have too big of a menu, and can help your visitors find what they need quickly on the site.

6. Keep The Buttons Big

Mobile phone optimized websites will make it easy to browse the site using a finger or thumb. You want to ensure that there is enough space between buttons or form boxes to ensure that someone doesn’t have to work hard to click on the right button.

Nothing is more frustrating to a visitor than being unable to click on the right button, so by keeping the buttons bigger, it will provide a better user experience for your visitors.

7. Optimize Image Size

One of the biggest things you should do to check a website on a mobile phone is the image size. You want the images to be as small as possible without sacrificing image quality. The reason you want to reduce the image size is because the bandwidth on phones tends to be much smaller than desktop computers, which means those same images take much longer to load.

To have a mobile phone optimized website, it isn’t just about creating a well-designed mobile site. A big part of it is about delivering better user experiences. Having a page that loads quicker and uses less of their data helps improve that experience. 

Optimize Image Size

8. Don’t Use Pop-Ups

Pop-ups are generally a bad idea when you convert a website for mobile viewing. The reason why is the small “X” button on pop-ups becomes even smaller on a mobile device and becomes nearly impossible to close.

When trying to click on the small “X,” they might even accidentally click on the load, which causes your visitor to leave the page, and might ruin the user experience.

Therefore, it is better to eliminate pop-up windows altogether on the mobile device. If you do decide to use them, make sure to see how your site looks on a mobile device before you roll out the new design. Ensure that you can close the pop-ups with no trouble.

9. Make Sure You Didn’t Block CSS, Javascript, or Image Files

Another tip on how to make your website compatible with mobile devices is to ensure that when you are using Java, you aren’t actually blocking the CSS or Image files. To make mobile friendly websites, the CSS and image files should be used with software and coding that is universally acceptable.

When developing websites for mobile devices, the more specialized the coding and software that you use, the less likely your site will be compatible. 

Make Sure You Didn’t Block CSS, Javascript, or Image Files

10. Avoid Using Large Blocks Of Text

You should try to reduce the amount of text that comes up on the mobile version of your site. While you do need some text to display what your site is about, it is better to keep the word count and paragraphs as small as possible.

Large blocks of texts become overwhelming and difficult to read while on a mobile device. Because a mobile phone has a small screen, one sentence might take up four or five lines. This can quickly add up.

Eliminating large blocks of texts helps your visitors to understand your website better and focus on what you are trying to tell them.

How To Make a Site Mobile Friendly FAQ

How do websites detect mobile devices?

It is very easy for a website to see whether the visitor is accessing the site from a mobile phone or desktop browser. Often, the server scripting languages will include a bit of code to help detect it.

Why are mobile friendly websites important?

So many people use their mobile phone to shop, do research, or anything else they might want to do on the internet. Without having a mobile friendly website, people might be discouraged from visiting your page because of a poor user experience.

Is my website mobile friendly?

You can check to see if you have a mobile friendly site already. To learn how to test a website on a mobile device, you can use Google’s website tester, called Webmaster Tool. It will show you if your phone meets the mobile-friendly website requirements.

 

Lindsey Conger
Author:
Lindsey is a freelance writer based out of Chicago who specializes in technology, business, finance, and real estate. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Dwell, and Stackstreet.

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"10 Tips For Making A Mobile Friendly Website"

10 Tips For Making A Mobile Friendly Website