Learning how to make your website mobile-friendly is essential now. The world has moved from the era where people access websites through laptops and desktops; smartphones are the most prominent use in this regard.
Nobody could have predicted that most people would access websites through their smartphones twenty years ago. Steve Jobs, who had probably already sketched everything out on paper when no one knew what a smartphone was.
With the first iPhone release in 2007, things began to shift.
Over time, people have become more accustomed to browsing on their phones. Mobile devices are now used to access websites more than desktop computers. As a result, everyone, including you, must ensure mobile-friendly websites.
What does it mean to have a website that is mobile-friendly?
A mobile-friendly website has been designed to be viewed on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This means that the website’s design has been optimized for smaller screens, ensuring that all content is accessible and appealing on any mobile device.
Furthermore, because mobile-friendly sites are typically loaded over 3G or 4G networks rather than fast and local home WiFi, they must load quickly.
Is My Website Mobile-Friendly?
If your website was created recently, likely, it’s already mobile-friendly. New content management systems (CMS) have already met this demand, ensuring that all websites work correctly on all modern devices. Responsive themes and templates for WordPress and other popular platforms adjust to the size of your screen, eliminating the need for a duplicate of the original.
Reading the documentation files for the template you’re using or simply loading it from various mobile devices is one way to see if your site is mobile-friendly (having friends with different phones can help with this). That isn’t to say you’re completely ready for mobile customers.
While the design is essential, you should also know how fast your mobile site loads. You can run a few simple tests on the internet to see how well your site works.
Running a Google Mobile-friendly test by entering your website’s URL is the quickest way to see if your website is mobile-friendly. Google will put your website through its paces on a miniature smartphone simulator and report back to you with the results.
Another excellent test that you can run online if you’re interested in learning more about the technical aspects of your mobile site.
like the previous service, requires you to enter your website’s URL, but it also provides reports on the site’s performance and structure and grades based on those aspects.
You can identify your site’s weak areas by looking at the details. This can be an excellent place to start your optimization efforts.
How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
After testing your site, likely, it’s not mobile-friendly. There are always a few improvements to be made.
Keep it simple with your designs.
Keep simplicity in mind if you haven’t chosen a website template yet. Because mobile devices have smaller screens, they can only display a limited number of elements. Not every image on a desktop computer needs to be viewed on a mobile device, and not every menu item or icon needs to be included.
A mobile website should be simple and help users find the information they need.
Make use of themes that are mobile-friendly.
If you’re using WordPress, make sure your theme is mobile-friendly. This indicates that the theme has been scaled to fit the device used to view it. When it comes to mobile optimization of the entire website, this will save time and effort.
If you’re using WordPress, take a look at the following popular responsive themes:
On mobile devices, use menus.
The menus on standard websites are not mobile-friendly. The regular menu should not be displayed on your mobile website because it will clog it up. On the other hand, a mobile menu will group all of the items into a widget that will only appear when the user taps on the menu icon.
WordPress users will find it simple to create mobile menus thanks to free plugins like Responsive Menu, which allows you to do so in minutes. This free plugin lets you choose a template, change icons and colors, and easily assign WordPress menus.
You can be confident that this tool will work in your favor and that the site menu will look fabulous no matter where you open it because it has already been optimized for speed.
Make Use of Common Fonts.
Fonts are “heavy,” but few beginners are aware of this. Non-standard fonts increase the time it takes for mobile users to access your site, making it less user-friendly. I know you wanted that paragraph to be painted differently and written in a handwritten font like the one you saw on a friend’s website. On the other hand, a regular font may look just as good, and remember that it will help your site load faster. Do you really want to risk losing customers because of a font choice?
Simply consult the Standard Font List to ensure that the standard typefaces remain beautiful.
Use media queries to your advantage.
Media queries are a CSS technique that’s only used to make mobile-friendly websites. They allow you to adapt the look of your website to different screen sizes. This method will enable you to show or hide specific items depending on the size of the screen.
For example, if you have a large hero image on your website that serves as the primary focal point on your desktop site, it’s good to hide it for mobile users to avoid overloading the mobile site. The use of media queries is used to accomplish this.
Alternatively, to make your headline more readable on mobile devices, you may reduce its size. In this case, you’d type in the following query:
This is a simplified illustration, and going into greater detail would be beyond the scope of this article. If you’re interested in learning more about media queries, W3 Schools is a great place to start.
Improve Image Files
One of the most beneficial changes you can make to your website is to optimize your photographs. Your mobile website may become inaccessible due to a single image that is not optimized. Consider the advantages of loading 2MB of data as opposed to 40KB. Yes, if the page is coming from a slower network, we’re talking seconds or even tens of seconds.
When working with image files, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Resize your Image: Avoid uploading larger images than they need to be by resizing them.
Hide Large Images from Mobile Sites: — use media queries to hide large images or load smaller versions.
Compress photographs — the quality loss will be unnoticeable, but you will improve the speed of your website.
Load Images in a sluggish manner: appearing only when the user scrolls to them. Smush, a free plugin, can help you accomplish this.
You can use free online applications like Kraken to optimize your photographs by uploading them and selecting the output quality.
You’ll have a significantly smaller image that you can safely publish on your site after ” releasing the Kraken” and allowing it to work its magic.
Updating each of your site’s photographs can be difficult if you have many of them. If you’re using WordPress, you can use specialist plugins like ShortPixel to compress and optimize all of your website’s photos.
Avoid Long Text passages.
It isn’t always a question of speed. Your mobile site will become unreadable if you use long paragraphs of text. Using a separator or simply inserting white space between every few sentences ensures that large amounts of material are broken up.
You can also use graphics to enhance the text’s interactivity, but make sure to use the best images possible in this case.
Make your Forms Simple
Long and complicated forms will appear even more complex on smaller screens, making users feel overwhelmed. Because mobile visitors have a shorter attention span, you should keep forms as straightforward as possible, requesting only the most basic information.
Make call-to-action buttons prominent and visible so that customers can press them without using a stylus.
Pop-up windows should be avoided at all costs.
Avoid using popups on your mobile site, regardless of what you offer. While most people dislike popups in general, having one on your mobile site adds to the load. They also irritate people who are browsing on their phones.
You can use a simple banner or widget on your mobile site to display a special offer or collect an email address if you need to.
Include a search function.
Regardless of how well-structured your site is or how appealing your menu appears on mobile devices, the fact remains that mobile navigation is slightly more complicated than navigation on desktop computers.
Instead of allowing visitors to your site to wander aimlessly searching for a specific page, make it easier for them by incorporating a search tool. Depending on your preference, you can place a search form at the top or bottom of your page.
A better option would be to include a search tool in your mobile menu, which would make it available to your visitors at all times.
Make YourSelf Available
Make your contact form prominently displayed and include a call-to-action button.
You want customers to be able to contact you if you own a business. You’ll want to make sure they can quickly find your contact information if they’re contacting you via smartphone.
Include a link to your contact form or prominently display your email address on your menu as the first step. You should also include your phone number if you want people to contact you by phone. Anyone can contact you by simply clicking on your phone number.
If you want to go even further, a fantastic free WordPress plugin allows you to add a call button to mobile pages. WP Call Button will help you create a button that will always be visible to smartphone users and enable them to contact you with ease.
Ensure the Website’s Core Vitals are in good working order.
Google has recently developed a set of essential variables to the user experience. Three factors must be considered when running a website:
Loading Performance – (Largest Contentful Paint): How long does it take for the most significant part of your site to load? (For instance, the most prominent image on your homepage)
Responsiveness – (First Input Delay) – the time it takes for your site to respond to the first user contact (like a touch on the screen when opening the site on a smartphone).
Visual Stability – (Cumulative Layout Shift): Do items on your website shift around during the loading process? The safer a website is, the more stable it is.
Follow these steps to get started with Core Web Vitals:
Sign in to Google Search Console using your Google Account credentials.
On the left-hand side of the screen, look for the Performance tab.
Choose “Core Web Vitals” from the drop-down menu.
After weighing all three metrics, Google will inform you of your site’s performance. You obviously want each component to be perfect. If you’re going to improve, you must take action.
Google, for example, may indicate that your mobile site is slow to load. Then, using the tools I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to assess your website and pinpoint the problem area. Assume one of the photos was the problem; optimize it and re-upload it to the site.
Return to the Google Search Console and click the “Validate” button to revalidate the site once you believe you’ve resolved the issues. Although it may work faster in some cases, Google usually requires at least 28 days to ensure that everything is working correctly.
Mobile Device Usability
The Mobile Usability option is found directly beneath Core Web Vitals in the Google Search Console. This simple application monitors your mobile site in real-time and displays any issues it finds.
If Google has any concerns, it will list the offending page here and provide more information about the problem.
The most common issues (and the most important to fix) will be listed first, so start and work your way down. Take your time and double-check all of the errors that have been mentioned. Each problem will be accompanied by a Google explanation that will help you learn more about it and, more importantly, how to solve it.
Additional information about Mobile Usability can be found on Google Support.
CSS and Java Script Optimization
Install the Asset CleanUp WordPress plugin, which is available for free.
Toggle the test mode on.
Disable any code you believe isn’t needed.
Because you’re in test mode, you can do whatever you want. If something on the site stops working after you disable a file, simply enable it again. If no changes to the site’s design are made, on the other hand, you can remove the feature and feel proud of yourself for speeding up your mobile site!
Even though there is a test mode, this plugin should be used with caution. Before making any changes, make sure you have a recent backup of your site (and even before installing the plugin). You never know what might happen, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
Do not be alarmed. It is not necessary to understand how code works to minify it. I recommend the Fast Velocity Minify plugin, one of several free plugins that will quickly resolve your issue.
Continue to Test
You haven’t finished yet. Continuous testing is required to maintain an effective mobile website. Maintain mobile phone or tablet access to your website, and don’t forget to solicit feedback from those in your immediate vicinity.
If your website receives a lot of traffic, you could even go one step further and conduct a user survey about their mobile site experience.
Traditional websites are typically viewed on desktop and laptop computers. Because these websites are accessed via larger screens and manipulated by users via keyboard and mouse, they are typically larger in size. Mobile websites are either exact replicas of the original website with fewer elements or responsive counterparts that seamlessly adapt to smartphones and tablets.
Open your website on a mobile phone or tablet to get started. It should have a different appearance than the desktop version, but most of the functionality should be retained. Then, to get more technical information about your website, you should run a Google mobile-friendly test and a GTmetrix test.
Mobile apps are more sophisticated versions of mobile websites. Faster loading times, more configuration options, and a better user experience are expected outcomes. On the other hand, App development takes more time and money and is usually only feasible for websites with a large number of potential users.
We are in an era where people seek information on the move. As an online entrepreneur, you can’t afford to ignore mobile visitors if you’re launching a website in 2022. Many website designers and developers have begun to prioritize mobile users in recent years. You must know how to make your website mobile-friendly. Users on mobile devices are the future, so make sure your website is always optimized and mobile-friendly, regardless of your platform.