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Expert tips to make your website mobile-friendly in 2019

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mobile friendly

There’s a good chance you’re reading this article on your Smartphone. If it’s true, you are one of the millions of people who use their mobile phones to access the internet every day. As per the 2017 statistics, smartphones and other mobile devices accounted for 49.73% of web page views worldwide. The growing importance of mobile internet can be further estimated from the fact that Google itself rolled out a massive update of its ranking algorithm, requiring all websites, blogs, and landing pages to be mobile optimized. Therefore, it only makes sense for the companies to not just have a strong presence on the internet but also have a mobile friendly website.

Making mobile-friendly websites introduces a layer of complexity that can be difficult for some business teams. So, we’ve compiled some amazing tips to give you ideas on how to make your website mobile-friendly.

Making your website mobile friendly is very important

To avoid getting penalized by Google should not be your only reason for being ‘mobile friendly’. There are a number of excellent reasons for having a mobile-friendly design.

* This is the age of smartphones. The time we are living in is undoubtedly the era of smartphones. According to Google, 76% of people across the world today use mobile phones.

* Mobile sites can either make or break your brand. This is not just a statement; it’s backed up by Google data. A large majority of people today own smartphones and your mobile site experiences can affect the way they think about your brand. For example, if it takes too long to load your mobile site, you risk losing your customers.

The growing number of mobile users indicates that by providing the users with an impeccable mobile experience, you can attract quite a large number of customers.

How to check your website’s mobile friendliness

A mobile-friendly website is a website which is a version optimized for mobile devices. It ensures that your website’s content and features will load correctly on mobile devices while offering the visitors experience similar to a traditional website. That said, let us now discuss ways to check your page’s mobile friendliness.

There are three ways to do it:

1. Open your website on a phone or tablet and see how it works.

2. Visit the Google Mobile-Friendly check page, enter your website’s URL and click on the analyze button. (see the image below)

3. Google also provides a free report inside Google Search Console, the Mobile Usability report, to help website managers adjust to the latest mobile search algorithm requirements. 

If your website doesn’t pass the three litmus tests listed above, here’s what you can do to make your website more mobile-friendly.

Tips to make your website mobile friendly:

1. Make Your Website Mobile Responsive

A responsive website has the same content and information as the traditional website, but it is crafted in a manner so as to provide an optimal viewing experience on a wide range of devices. It ensures easy reading and navigation, without much need of scrolling, resizing and panning. Apart from giving your website a mobile-friendly design, responsive design is also good for SEO. A website, which is optimized for mobile will look like this:

The method you choose to make your website responsive will depend on the time and money you are willing to spend. There are three ways to do it:

* Get a responsive WordPress theme

* Use Media Queries (CSS3)

It just means adding a code to your stylesheet that tells the browser how to display your website in different resolutions. Here is an example of a media query:

@media screen and (max-width:480px) {

      #sidebar { display: none;}

       }

* Get a professional to do it for you 
Companies like Enuke can help you find professionals who will do the job for you so that you can focus on other important aspects of your business.

2. Always include a viewport meta tag

Viewport meta tag is a critical code for your website to work well on a mobile device. There are a number of configurations that you can command your viewport to control. Here’s an example of what you can use at the head of the document.

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial –scale=1”>

3. Don’t Use Flash

Once very popular on the internet, flash fell out of favor years ago because it’s not just bad for SEO but can also be frustrating to the users. It has the following disadvantages for a website:

* It requires a plugin

* It can be very slow to load, especially if the website has a lot of content and a viewer has a slow internet connection.

* It’s bad for your website’s SEO

* Neither Android nor iOS devices support flash

Here are some good alternatives to flash:

* Jquery JavaScript library:

It can do everything that a Flash can do, with significantly smaller file size.

* HTML5:

It lays emphasis on accessibility by various devices for the latest multimedia. 

* CSS3:
It is animation friendly and also provides new ways to design interactive websites. 

4. Add Autocomplete feature for Forms

Autocomplete or autofill feature can make a user’s interaction with your website more convenient. If you have forms on your website that ask for name or address information, the autofill feature will automatically add text into fields, eliminating the hassle of typing in the information again and again. Here’s how you can enable it in your editor settings.

* Check the “Autocomplete” checkbox

* Next, click on the “Save All Settings” button to save your settings.

* Voila! You’re done. After the Autocomplete feature is enabled in the editor settings, you’ll see Autocomplete suggestions as you type in the HTML, CSS, and JS panels of the editor.

It is very important to carry out extensive cross-browser testing to ensure that your form works well in different browsers. 

5. Make Your Button Sizes Large Enough to Work on Mobile

It’s easy enough to click on a button of just about any size with a mouse, but the real challenge arises when you try to click a small button with your fingers. It gets even more difficult if there are multiple small buttons close to each other. It can be quite annoying to the visitors.

You can easily address this problem by using bigger buttons. Now the question is – how large do they need to be? On average any clickable button on a mobile device should at least be 45 pixels in height. Standardizing clickable areas and buttons will have the following benefits:

* Fewer errors in navigation through your website.

* It will keep the viewers engaged.

* Potentially lead to more conversions too.

6. Use Scalable Vector Graphics

To have a responsive design, it’s very important to have Scalable Vector Graphics. Unlike image files (jpg/png), SVGs are infinitely scalable. Using Scalable Vector Graphics ensure that the icons or graphics will remain sharp across all the devices without ever having to worry about the resolution. Also, since SVGs are often far smaller file size, they can save your site some load time too.

7. Compress Your Images and CSS

Talking about the site loading time, we all want our websites to load very fast. Faster load time can mean the difference between viewers staying on your website or leaving. Speed is very important for any website so, that means to have a mobile-friendly design, it is important to compress anything that takes up a lot of space on the website and slows loading time. This includes your high-resolution images and your CSS.

It is advisable to use two different versions of the same image. For example, a desktop page may need an image at 1200px wide for full resolution, while the mobile version may only need 400px wide. So, compound this on a page for a noticeably faster loading experience.

8. Allow an Easy Way to Switch to Desktop View

While it’s true that many users today prefer to view web pages on their mobiles, there are still a good number of people who prefer to see the desktop version of websites. So, always include a “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. An important feature of a mobile-friendly design is that you want your visitors to be able to interact with your website in the way that they are happiest with.

9. Take advantage of device features

Smartphones allow you to multitask. You can make calls, open apps, send messages – all at the same time. Take advantage of these capabilities on your website to make your website mobile friendly, users happy and increase conversions.

For example, you can code social media icons in such a way that when clicked, if installed on that person’s phone, they will open directly in the apps instead of the browser.

10. Regularly Perform Mobile Testing

The best thing you can do to make sure your website’s mobile experience is a good one is to regularly check your website’s mobile friendliness. It doesn’t only mean testing it on one mobile device multiple times, you have to test it out on different devices, which include- iPhones, Android phones, Windows phones, and different tablets.

While testing, put yourself in the position of the user or ask someone other than your team members to test it for you.

Conclusion

With mobile being a leading platform keeping pace with or surpassing desktop use, there’s no reason for you to not set your business up for mobile success. We hope these tips provide you guidance into knowing how to make your website more mobile-friendly. If you need professional help to make your website more mobile friendly, you can contact the professionals who can help you create compelling and engaging user experiences through their innovative solutions.

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Manu Yadav
Manu Yadav is the co-founder of Enuke Software, leading IT solutions provider in IoT, Blockchain, healthcare, travel and app development sector.
An open source aficionado, S.M.A.C enthusiast & Techie at heart’ Seasoned leader with proven track record of building businesses and relationships at every level. Proficient in the design and development of IT products for B2B and B2C segments.
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