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12 Tips for Developing a Mobile-Friendly Website

12 Tips for Developing a Mobile-Friendly Website

By: SMITH THOMPSON

A few years back, when mobile phones were just mobiles to communicate, there was no such term as smartphones. But innovation in technology has transformed mobile phones into smartphones, which has now become a regular part of our lives. Social media has become the new norm of life, as people spend most of their time on social channels. Not only that, people prefer to use their smartphones to visit any website rather than using the desktop.

A report by Statista shows that there are more than 3 billion smartphone users in the world, and half of the internet traffic comes from mobile devices. This has made it pretty straightforward for website owners to develop mobile-friendly websites to retain their visitors. But, how do you analyze whether your website or web app is mobile-friendly or not?

Is your Website Mobile-Friendly?

If your site was developed or updated a few years ago, chances are the designers kept mobile-friendliness in mind. However, it’s always a great practice to check your site for mobile responsiveness. The easiest way to check the mobile responsiveness of a site is to test it with Google’s free mobile-friendly testing tool. Though it would not provide accurate results, you can check how your site looks on mobile devices.

If you want to perform a detailed analysis of how your site looks across various browsers and mobile devices, you can use an advanced utility like LT Browser. The tool will display the areas where your site needs improvements to become mobile-friendly. On the other hand, if you’re developing a new site, there are many factors that you need to look after to create a mobile-friendly website.

Tips to Develop Mobile-Friendly Website

Our expert designers have created this list of useful tips that can be utilized to develop mobile-friendly websites.

  1. Use a Responsive Web Design

The first thing you need to develop a mobile-friendly website is a responsive web design. Every web designer will agree on the fact that a responsive site works well across all platforms, including mobile devices. It’s because a responsive web design responds according to the device it’s being displayed.

In simple words, we can say that a responsive web design changes its appearance based on the device and resolution it is being utilized. With a responsive design, you don’t even have to limit your site information to mobile users. Moreover, a responsive web design is also helpful in boosting SEO ranking, and Google recommends it.

To build a responsive design, you can take help from various web design tools available in the market or use a website builder that offers responsive templates.

  1. Simplify the Navigation

Mobile screens are much smaller than laptop and desktop screens, which means the content visible on a big screen will not be similar to the smaller screen. Thus, it would be best if you kept the navigation menu in mind while designing a site. Make sure that the web app is easily navigable with one thumb. It’s pretty apparent that users use their thumb to scroll through a site or application, which makes it a priority for the website owner to build thumb-friendly navigation.

In most cases, it is advisable to keep the navigation menu on the top-left or right corner. It makes it easy for the visitors to find the specific information they are looking for. Also, make sure you don’t put everything on the home page. Use your analytics search to analyze what content users will be looking for when they visit your site. This way, you’ll be able to simplify the navigation on your site.

  1. Keep the Page Loading Speed Faster

Users generally wait a maximum of 3 seconds for a web page to load, and if it takes more than that, they tend to move to another resource. This makes page loading speed an essential factor for mobile responsiveness. We live in the era of 5G, and we surely don’t want to wait much when it comes to using the internet.

Site loading speed plays a vital role in improving mobile-friendliness and SEO ranking, as per Google’s research. There are various methods to improve the speed page loading speed of your website, some of which includes:

  • Using accelerated mobile pages or AMP plugin
  • Compressing images and CSS on the site that takes more time to load
  • Upgrade your web hosting plan to match the speed requirements

Whatever method you choose, make sure it makes your web app faster.

  1. Keep the Content Engaging

The content on your site plays a critical role not only in its mobile-friendliness but SEO ranking as well. With the latest Google algorithm – mobile-first indexing, search engines now use your web app’s mobile version for ranking and indexing. This means your mobile site’s content should be rich and engaging, just like the desktop version.

Earlier, web designers used to create a different site for mobile users. This is not the scenario anymore, as the same amount of content should be used across both desktop and mobile versions to make it more appealing. But quantity is not the only crucial metrics; you need to ensure that the content is rich and engaging as per user requirements.

  1. Avoid using Pop-ups and Text-Blocking Ads

Using pop-ups on web apps was a thing back in 2016, but it is no better for your site. No user wants to see text-blocking ads and pop-ups while scrolling through a web page because it’s frustrating. For instance, if you’re reading some vital information on a web page, suddenly a pop-up appears and blocks the page view; it becomes annoying.

Most users don’t even try to press the X on the pop-up to close it and move to another resource just in a few seconds. If you want to offer an engaging user experience on your mobile site, avoid using any pop-ups or text-blocking ads. Well, it’s not necessary to ditch them completely; you can use them for desktop sites.

  1. Use the Search Functionality

This practice relates to the navigation on your site. A website menu generally has 15-20 different options, and sometimes it becomes challenging to fit all those options on one page. So, what you could do is use a search function on the home page. This makes it easier for the users to search for a specific thing on your site. Besides, it reduces the need to use a large and complex navigation menu, which often confuses the users.

This functionality is ideal for e-commerce websites, as there are many products available on e-stores and finding a specific product becomes challenging without a search bar. Moreover, the search bar also simplifies your web design.

  1. Make Button Sizes Large Enough to Work

The mobile screen is comparatively smaller than desktops, which means the buttons available on your site also reduces in size with screen resolutions. It’s pretty simple for a desktop user to click a button of any size with the mouse, but doing the same thing over the phone with your thumb is not that easy. And if you use multiple buttons close to each other, it becomes more challenging and annoying for the users.

Thus, you should use large buttons for your site’s mobile version to keep your customers happy. Make sure you place the buttons where required the most rather than putting them anywhere. Also, perform a detailed analysis on the functioning of each new button added to the site.

  1. Stop using Flash

If you’re updating your site to make it mobile-friendly, make sure it is not using Flash. Using Flash on a site is harmful to its SEO ranking as well as mobile responsiveness. It slows down the page loading speed and is not supported by many mobile browsers. No matter if the user uses an Android or iOS device, using Flash is not endorsed by any of them.

Although your site was developed a few years ago, it might have Flash features, which could be a problem for the users. So, you need to replace those features with better technology than Flash.

  1. Use Clear Call-to-Action

The primary purpose of any business website is to offer a friendly user experience and convert its visitors to leads. Now, CTA is an integral part of a website when it comes to conversions. To create an effective mobile design of your site, make sure the call-to-action button is clearly visible on the mobile screen.

Well, it’s not necessary to use multiple CTAs on a single page. You can follow a strategy to use CTA on each landing page of your mobile site. Another thing to keep in mind is that the CTA buttons should be easy to spot within 3-4 seconds.

  1. Use Standard Font Size

Users will already be using a small screen while scrolling your site on a smartphone, and you don’t want them to move to another site because of the font size. Most web designers recommend using a font size of at least 14px on desktop sites, but it’s not necessary that the same font would look better on the mobile versions.

To ensure what font would look great on the mobile site, double-check their readability. Besides, it’s a great practice to stick with the standard font size that offers a similar experience across all mobile screens.

  1. Provide the Switch to Desktop Option

Though it rarely happens when some mobile visitors prefer to see the desktop version of a site, it’s good to give the switch to the desktop version option. Adding this option to your site won’t slow it down or affect its ranking; instead, it provides users with a better perspective of your site. The switch to the desktop version option will also take them directly to the desktop version of your site, where they can analyze the website in more detail.

  1. Perform Mobile Testing Regularly

After implementing all the practices to your mobile site, it is crucial to ensure whether it is mobile-friendly or not. And the best way to check the mobile responsiveness of your site is to test it thoroughly. Besides, you should perform it regularly whenever a new feature or functionality is added. Continuous testing helps in finding small errors in the mobile responsiveness of your site.

Now, there are plenty of ways to test the mobile responsiveness of a site, which includes Google’s free mobile-friendly testing tool (mentioned above) and checking the site on real devices. Both these methods are ideal for checking the mobile view of the site but don’t offer accurate results.

That’s why you need an advanced utility like LT Browser, which is ideally designed to test the mobile responsiveness of a site across more than 25 browsers. You can use this tool to test even locally hosted web pages of your site.

Wrap Up

Having a mobile-friendly website is the need of the hour for every business, as more than half of the web traffic comes from mobile devices. This makes it a huge responsibility for the site owner to test the web app across mobile devices continuously to ensure that it is mobile friendly. And even if you get everything on track, your task will not be finished because the way mobile phones look and work might change in the upcoming years. So, you’ll have to keep updating, tweaking, and testing your site according to the new standards. In this article, we covered 12 effective tips to help you develop a mobile-friendly website.

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