The way we access the internet is changing. Mobile phones are quickly becoming the preferred method of surfing and finding information online. With apps that allow us to find what we need faster through our mobile phones, people are leaving their computers and taking their internet on the road. Because of this, web design is also changing. Websites used to be full of extra features, flash menus and animated images. Now they are being designed for mobile friendly browsing. But what if you already have a site? How can you tell if it is mobile friendly? Here are a few tips to help check and prepare your site for mobile access.
One of the major issues with websites that are not mobile friendly is load time. Sites that are too large or have too many moving elements take a mobile user too long to load. If you find your site is slow to load on a conventional laptop or PC, then perhaps it’s time to slim it down. Attempt to access your site on a mobile device and see how long it will take to load, if it will load at all. If you have problems loading your site, get rid of the elements you don’t absolutely need.
A good website has good navigation. This could be as simple as anchored links to other parts of the site or fully designed buttons. With mobile browsing, you are limited to smaller screens and screen resolutions. Therefore you want to be sure your navigation is seen, used, and organized in order for mobile users to be able to access the different pages of your site.
Another aspect to take into consideration due to mobile screen size is the size of your pages. It is just as affective for SEO and browsing to add another page as it is to have it all on one page. Pages that are too long may appear chaotic and disorganized on a mobile device. This will shy users away from your site rather than spending time reading the information you’re providing.
Creating a Dynamic Page:
If you are taking your site into consider for mobile users to access, perhaps a new site is what you need. Many sites have created a dynamic website that mirrors their original site. This allows the site to change based on how it is being accessed. When a mobile user accesses the site, the site will resize itself perfectly in order to accommodate the user.
Mobile browsing is on the rise and many sites are getting prepared for it. If you have a site and would like to be more mobile friendly, take a look at your current layout and design. Make sure your load time is fast enough for a mobile device to load. Worst case scenario, look into building a dynamic site or even a slimmed down version of your current site.
Martin Hines is a Seattle WordPress Developer and writer, offering advice for those looking to start a website.