April 21, 2015
Cluttered homes are not the only things that need a good spring cleaning now and then. Just as a lived-in space needs to be cleaned and spiffed up for the new season, a website should be regularly scrubbed clean of unnecessary content to make room for the new and innovative. These days, “cutting edge” means mobile-friendly. If your site isn’t playing nicely with people’s hand-held devices, you might just be relegated to the cobwebs of the Internet. Take these steps to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and ready to evolve with your customers.
1. Understand why being mobile-friendly is so important. The reason can be summed up in just one word: Google. This ubiquitous search giant is the main source that people go to when they are looking for information. Google recently announced that it would be rewarding sites that are compatible with mobile devices with better search rankings. Since rankings are nothing less than a business’s bread and butter, Google’s recent intentions have lit a fire under many previously slow-to-adapt site administrators.
2. Consider adopting a responsive website versus having a separate, dedicated mobile site. Doing so will provide your users with a much more seamless mobile experience. The more satisfied your visitors are with the responsiveness of your domain, the more likely they are to come back. That means more business—and additional exposure—for you.
3. Make sure your website does not contain software that mobile devices cannot run such as Flash.
4. Take a long, hard look at the style of the text on your site. Does a visitor need to zoom in to read it? If so, this must be changed.
5. Size your content with mobile devices in mind. Tiny text or content that requires you to scroll sideways if you want to see it will render your website non-friendly to mobile devices.
6. Make sure your links are placed far enough apart. Once there is enough distance between them, your mobile visitor can easily tap on them.
7. Set form input attributes. Turn off autocorrect and turn on autocapitalize. Doing so eliminates the need for users to toggle the capslock key and stops those nasty autocorrect errors.
8. Make sure that form submit buttons are not disabled after the first click. When desktop users dominated, this helped to keep multiple submissions to a minimum. However, mobile devices frequently experience network fluctuations. Users really do need to have the option of pressing that “submit” button more than once.
9. Use media queries to tailor your site to desktop and mobile devices, depending on what the specific visitor is using. Do this by creating custom style rules that only go into effect when viewed in a smaller browser window.
10. Use standard fonts. Although custom fonts look great and can make your website unique and compelling, they have a definite downside: It can take several seconds for them to load on a user’s mobile device. While that process is occurring, the user sees only a blank screen where the text should be. Choose to display the text in the default font. You can then switch to your desired font.
Now that you have examined the various features of your website and done your best to ensure that they are mobile-friendly, it’s time to find out how it measures up. Fortunately, it’s very easy to test the mobile-friendliness of your site. You can use this tool.
Ready or not, here it comes. Mobile devices are taking over not just social discourse, but also the business world. Where Google blazes a trail, millions of others are sure to follow. Don’t be left behind in the dust bin of exclusive desktop access. Take the time to make your site mobile-friendly. Then sit back and reap the rewards.
Infographic Courtesy of: www.jetdm.com