How To Make a Website Mobile Friendly

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Chances are, you are either reading this on one, or you have one within arms reach right now. Mobile smartphones are used by most people constantly throughout their lives, but it wasn’t that long ago that this wasn’t the case. In fact the internet was first built and used for years, solely accessible by computers. This meant that a lot of the internet and websites weren't compatible with mobile usage at first and had to be adapted with time.

This article is about making a website mobile friendly. It will explain a little bit more about what a mobile friendly website is, why it is important, and how to make a website mobile friendly.

What is a mobile friendly website?

There could be a lot of complicated explanation about what a mobile friendly website is, but the crux of it is this - does the website work how it is supposed to when viewed on a mobile? 

As touched upon above, the internet hasn’t always been as readily accessible as it is now. Years ago you would need a computer and a wired internet connection to get online. Now in 2021, this has changed dramatically. But a lot of the foundations that the internet and websites were built on weren’t initially made with mobiles in mind. This means that to make a website mobile friendly now, we have to specifically design elements and code to be compatible with mobile and various screen sizes.

Why is it important to have a mobile friendly website?

To make sure everyone can access your website

Four years ago, in 2016, the amount of people using the internet on their mobiles overtook the amount of people using computers to access the internet. Since then, this trend has continued to get larger as well.

Depending on what your website is about and who your audience is, this ratio will change slightly, but half of website traffic will be from mobile. This means that if your site isn’t accessible on mobile, you are missing out on a huge amount of potential traffic.

It is important for SEO

Another factor to consider is the compatibility of your site with search engines. If your site is not mobile friendly, it will negatively impact your SEO rankings dramatically. Without a mobile friendly site, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to gain significant rankings.

How to make a website mobile friendly

The first thing to do is to test your website on google. By following this link you can input your website’s URL and you will be told how compatible your website is. Below are some of the key steps needed to make sure a website is mobile friendly.

Responsive design and build

A website needs to be able to display differently depending on the size of screen that someone is viewing your page on. You may not have realised, but if you visit a website on a computer, tablet, or phone, the actual layout will be slightly different. This has been done to make sure the website still functions depending on the different devices people are on.

Prioritise going faster

People don’t hang around when waiting for a website to load, this is particularly the case on mobile. One of the ways you can do this is by using AMP pages, otherwise called Accelerated Mobile Pages). Google actively encourages the use of these pages to improve load speed on mobile. Other tactics you can use include compressing your images and CSS, as well as upgrading your hosting plan.

Make sure buttons are usable and large

When a website gets transferred from computer screen size to mobile, it’s easy for shortcuts to be taken. But sometimes the immediate impact of the shortcuts isn’t noticed. One key area to not cut the corners on is button placement and size. If a button on mobile is shrunk down to be absolutely tiny, it’s difficult to click them. This can be infuriating when trying to use a site on mobile.

Simplify the design and use large fonts

Cramming everything from a desktop screen onto mobile is a surefire way to create a cluttered mobile website. Simplify what’s in front of the viewer and keep the essentials. Alongside this, make sure there is enough space in the design for an increased font size. It can be difficult to read on a small screen and a small font can make it even harder.

Above are just some of the steps you can take to make your website mobile friendly. It’s a big subject that requires a lot of time, but it is well worth looking into more and making sure you are well adapted for mobile. The internet is only going more mobile as we move forward, so preparing properly for it now will set you up well for the future.