Google no longer is suggesting that our websites be mobile-friendly, it is now a requirement if you want your site to be indexed and found.
They made it very clear that those sites that are not mobile-friendly will be penalized. Luckily technology has kept up with the demands from Google by removing the barriers that used to exist.
In the past, websites needed to be hand-coded in order to be mobile-friendly. This process was costly, unavailable to non-technical people, and took a long time.
Today there are a multitude of templates and frameworks that make it easier to make your site friendly to mobile users. If your website is not currently mobile-friendly, you will need to learn how to make a mobile friendly site.
What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
If all your website content such as your videos, links, text, and images are easy-to-read and readily accessible on smaller screens like tablets and smart phones, it means your site is mobile-friendly.
This means that your website literally shrinks down to be small enough to display on a mobile device and looks like a smaller version of your site as it appears on a desktop computer.
Think Mobile First
Before the mobile revolution it was well-known that websites should place the most important information above the fold. What that meant was to have the most important or relevant information located in a top position on your website where your visitors could see it without having to scroll.
As time moves on, more not less people will be accessing your websites via mobile devices. It is therefore crucial that your content be mobile ready. This includes your navigation, calls-to-action, and contact information.
It becomes even more important to place the most essential content in a place where it can be easily found without scrolling or searching when one is looking at an already small screen.
Site Navigation and Home Page
When designing your home page for a desktop, you have much more flexibility with regards to real estate. This means that you have more space to brand, promote, or explain to your website visitors.
On a mobile device, space in general, and homepage space in particular, is at a premium. Keep in mind that everybody is in a hurry these days and they don’t want to waste their time searching your site from their phone to find anything.
It is best to give priority to calls-to-action and the most essential navigation items. You can hide less important or secondary navigation behind menu buttons to save precious real estate.
Font and Button Size
Because mobile devices are already small, you want to make sure the font size you choose is large enough for users to read. It’s best to set your font size to 14px so that your users don’t have to zoom in to read your content.
Another factor to consider are your call-to-action buttons. Make sure they are large enough to reduce the changes of your website visitors either missing them or pushing the wrong one.
Layout for Cross-Platform Compatibility
For your website to be mobile-friendly, you have to use a layout that is not only logical, but also aesthetically-pleasing. A few of the ways you can accomplish this are:
- Don’t use popups
- Use icons instead of words where possible to save space
- Fonts should be legible and large enough to read
Keep in mind that your website visitors will be coming from a variety of devices. You want to make sure your content is consistent across all platforms.
Think About Speed
If your site takes too long to load, you will lose your mobile device visitors as they leave your site to find one that loads faster, possibly to your competitor’s site. Some of the things that can slow down your load time are excess code, too many images, and images that are too large.
When you are designing your website for mobile users, remember that it has to look nice and be easy-to-read on small screens. Keep the following points in mind when creating your mobile-friendly website:
- Screen space is much smaller than on desktop devices
- People’s attention span is short
- Mobile users are goal-directed and expect to find the most important information quickly and easily