In 2014, the smartphone dethroned desktops as the top electronic device used around the globe to access the Internet. With over 1 billion websites surfacing on the Internet, over 200 million of them are blogs. With Mobile especially Android becoming the king of the Internet, bloggers and website designers need to keep in mind the bigger audience while creating their website. Mobile-friendly websites are a necessity nowadays, and Google’s search indexing algorithms urge creators to craft websites while thinking about mobile.
Nevertheless, most website designers and bloggers are unknown to the methods of creating and optimizing a website to be mobile-friendly. Making Mobile friendly websites is a complex practice, as it goes one step farther from creating a cross-browser website to creating a cross-platform website. So how can you create a mobile-friendly website? How should you optimize your blog to cater to the users who have the world in their palms? We bring together 10 such steps below to give you a hand in creating a mobile-optimized website.
1. Mobile is the No 1 Priority
Instead of starting as a desktop-based website, you should keep mobile as your top priority and perform initial development for mobile. It is much easier to reverse engineer the website and scale it up rather than scaling it down to a mobile level from the desktop website. Simply put, if your website looks perfect on a mobile, it can be easily scaled up and made perfect for the desktop.
You can begin by ensuring that all touchpoints on the website are of the perfect size and simple to use on a smaller screen. Do not use hovering and other effects which require a mouse as they will not function on mobile and will make the website heavy unnecessarily. The best way to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly is to test it out on multiple devices with different screen sizes and operating systems (multiple versions).
2. Creating a Responsive Website
There is no doubt about the fact that a website should be user-friendly on a desktop, but if it is not mobile optimized, you can lose potential leads and customers. A lot of ventures are going mobile-only due to a large portion of their consumers coming from the mobile platforms only. To cater to the current mobile user, your website should be Mobile friendly websites responsive, and user-friendly on a smaller screen.
There can be a number of problems with your website when viewed on smaller screens. The page might not fit the screen and the user has to scroll to look at the full page or the images look out of place due to the website not being optimized. This can harm your business as well as your search engine ranking. A website is considered to be responsive if it adapts to the screen size of the device and automatically fits it. For example, if you have a horizontal menu on the right side of your website on a desktop, it can be converted to a drop-down menu on mobile for easier viewing.
3. Provide something different
If a user is visiting your website or blog on mobile rather than desktop, they should not get the same amount of data on the website. To simplify, if someone is reading 7 lines of text on a desktop, it can be considered less due to the big size of the screen but if we scale it down to a mobile, 7 lines of text can convert to something big and monotonous for the user. To keep it simple and short, swap long-form of text on your website for short text and remove the elements and plugins that take up a huge load of data, and increases the loading time so that the user can seamlessly view your website without having to wait or read long-form of text.
4. Using High-Resolution Images
No matter what genre of content you share, it is advisable to use high-resolution images on your responsive websites. These images don’t distort on smaller screens and make sure that the user has a high-quality experience going through your website. With the smartphone market bulging, many smartphones boast HD screens, and having High-Resolution images will remove pixelation and blur issues enhancing the user experience of viewing your website on retina quality screens.
5. The Blog Theme
WordPress and Blogger, the top two websites for blogging are constantly creating new themes for their users, which are mobile, responsive. These themes resize and arrange the content on the blog when viewed on smaller screens. Also, these themes do not require any other mobile theme or plugin to be responsive, making them the perfect choice for bloggers.
Their developers to become responsive, but if you are going for a fresh theme, make sure you choose the one, which is responsive, has converted many old themes. There are a lot of plugins and templates, which allow you to view a mobile version of your blog and enable it for all mobile users.
6. Say no to the Auto Zoom
If your website has Auto-Zoom enabled, it can mess up your website when viewed on smaller screens. Auto Zoom can create clutter and images and navigation can appear too big or small in the layout. To eradicate this problem, you can include the viewport Meta tag in your <head> tag to set custom variables in the content for easier viewing.
7. Size Does Matter
Instead of keeping font size small for mobile users, keep the font size at least 14px which lets the user decide if it is perfect or they need to adjust it. Smaller font size may require users to zoom a lot, which can be harmful in the long run. The only time a smaller font size is acceptable is when it has to be put on forms or labels. Following the perfect font size will help you enhance the user experience on your mobile site.
8. Keep the White Space
While designing the website, instead of cramming and cluttering all the data on the page, make sure you leave enough white spaces for it to look neat. Nobody likes a cluttered website, which means the white spaces should be utilized and given a certain portion of the page. Keeping white spaces provides the website with a sophisticated look and also helps the users navigate and click easily.
9. Avoid Pop-Ups
While it is easier to seam through one tab to another on a desktop, it is a far different story on mobile. Navigating on a mobile browser is difficult, and multiple tabs can cause slow loading time. Avoid using unnecessary pop-ups as it slows down the user’s device making it a lousy viewing experience. If a new window is required, it is better to alert the user so that they can go back to the original page.
10. Make use of Mobile Redirects
Once you have created a website, deploy redirects that find out when a user is visiting through mobile and direct them to the mobile-friendly version of the website. There are a lot of websites, which can help you set up and deploy these redirects. Once your redirects are deployed, anybody who accesses your website through a mobile or is directed to a link will be straightway sent to the optimized version of your website.
As the smartphone market blooms further, a new horizon is opened for developers and designers who can showcase their creativity on the smaller screen. Creating Mobile-friendly websites and blogs pose somewhat of a challenge in front of the developers but it can be conquered in no time.