The internet changed in October 2016. That month, mobile web usage overtook desktop web usage for the first time (although there are those who say the turning point was much earlier). Over sixty percent of Millennials use a smartphone as their primary device for accessing the internet, it has been reported, and that percentage has probably gone up even higher since. It’s clear that if you have a website, it must be mobile friendly.
In April 2015, Google announced that it would consider mobile friendliness as a factor in website ranking results. There are two different opinions how to make sure you have a mobile friendly site. One school of thought is to create a separate, mobile version of your existing site. The opposing, more widely accepted view is not to make a separate website, but rather to adapt your existing site.
Adapting your existing website to the mobile era is not an expensive process – you don’t have to raise +capital or win the EuroMillions lottery to be able to afford the changeover. Even so, it would be wise to have a skilled developer on board to make sure you are going in the right direction.
The starting point is that you must employ responsive web design (RWD) to make sure your visitors have an easy time reading and navigating your website. A responsive website is one that adapts itself based on the device that the visitors are using.
Font size. Visitors to your website should be able to read the content without the need to zoom in. Make sure to use user-friendly, standard fonts set for maximum legibility. Developers will know that configuring a viewport for your web pages will ensure that fonts are scaled properly on various devices. The base font size, according to Google’s recommendations, should be 16 CSS pixels.
Images. Images should be of high resolution. If you set a preferred width for your images on a website, they will be too wide for display on a mobile device and therefore you should set image widths to 100%.
Links. Place links far enough apart so that readers won’t have a problem clicking on the one they want. The same goes for clickable buttons.
Flash – don’t use it. Most mobile web browsers are not configured to render software such as Flash. Google recommends that you design your website, including content and animation, using “modern web technologies” which apparently do not include Flash.
Optimize the code. Even if you don’t have the time or money to rebuild your website from scratch for the mobile era, there are certain tweaks that can be made to existing code that will improve user experience. These tweaks include, but are not limited to, adjusting form input attributes, using word wrap to ensure readability of long texts such as account numbers and URLs, careful usage of extra spaces, and avoiding fixed positioning for headers or sidebars.
After following the above mentioned steps, you will want to check if your website is really mobile friendly. Google offers a simple mobile-friendly test that can determine how easily a visitor can see a website page on a mobile device. All you have to do is list your URL and the tool will analyse your page to check its compatibility to the mobile internet era.