Most of the traffic that your website drives, is through mobile devices. According to Statista, more than 52% of the global Internet traffic came from mobile devices. This figure is constantly increasing,and it is assumed that smartphone user base will reach to 6.1 billion by 2020.
It is mandatory to have a mobile-friendly website in today’s times as mobile-responsiveness is one of the important parameters to rank the website higher in the search engines. If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, Google may penalize you.
In case you are setting up a new website or getting your old website redesigned, it would be recommended that you follow the latest updates of Google algorithm. For this, you have to make your website mobile responsive and compatible on all devices.
Read through to learn about some simple tips for designing a mobile-first website.
1. Employ a Responsive Framework
HTML frameworks have made responsive website designing a lot easier than it used to be. Bootstrap and Foundation are the two most accepted mobile-first frameworks that can be used to build front-end as well as back-end user interfaces for mobile devices. HTML framework is advantageous because it makes use of a grid-based layout with rows and columns to design website content and app interfaces. As a result, you can define every section of your design according to the different screen sizes ranging from small to large. Moreover, it is even possible to display or hide sections from smaller screens.
2. Put user experience first
Your website’s primary objective is to drive traffic and enhance your conversions. If your website fails to deliver a good user experience to the visitors, they would leave your site. Ultimately, you end up losing your prospective customers. If you do not want this to happen, optimize your website for a flawless user experience. Have fonts that are easily readable on all devices, regardless of the screen size. Use points rather than pixels to specify the font sizes. @media CSS queries can let you improve the website experience setting the font sizes and design elements properly for the diverse devices.
3. Make sure your website loads fast
There are a couple of ways to ensure a fast loading website. They are enlisted below.
1. Get a caching plugin
For business owners using WordPress as their Content Management System, a caching plugin like WP Super Cache is available to set up website caching.
2. Install an SSL Certificate
You can buy an SSL Certificate and get HTTPS protocol for your website to ensure secure transfer of information. This certificate enables encryption of sensitive information and prevents any security breach. Doing so will not only speed up the loading of your website but also improve its search engine ranking. From July 2018, your website speed will be considered as an important factor for Google search engine ranking. Therefore, get your SSL Certificate at the earliest possible. SEO should be your top priority as it is one of the best ways to run effective Internet marketing.
3. Setup a CDN
CDN is basically Content Delivery Network that allows you to display the website content based on the visitor’s geolocation. It quickens the loading speed of the website to a considerable level.
4. Compress the images
It is observed that webpages with heavy images load quite slowly, which becomes especially cumbersome on mobile devices. Get the images compressed and employ lazy loading so that the pages are loaded without delaying the loading time.
4. Use simple navigation and only the required interactive elements
While you are building a mobile-responsive website, you might have to pay special attention to certain elements in the design. Let’s say your desktop website has an extensive navigation menu. If the menu is displayed the same way on mobile devices, it would make the website very cluttered for the visitor. As a workaround, you can use the hamburger menu button and hide the navigation links behind 3 horizontal lines, as shown below.
As users are getting more and more adapted to subtle interactions even on mobile devices, you can incorporate interactive elements that allow the users to tap on links or swipe the screen. Carousels and sliders are quite welcome on mobile websites.
Choose standard fonts for your website. Though artistic fonts are great for desktops, mobile users would not want to keep downloading custom fonts when they visit a website.
We recommend that you avoid using Flash as mobile devices generally do not support it. Flash is outdated, and it is surely better to use HTML. Video marketing has gained a significant impetus in the world of websites, but do not use autoplay feature as it can be a great turnoff for your visitors, particularly if they have a slow Internet connection. Keep the autoplay turned off and let the visitors take their call.
Pro Tip: If you want to try out anything new for mobile devices, Apps are the best platform to set the ball rolling.
5. Monitor the results and make the necessary changes
You can create alternative versions of your web page and carry out A/B testing to figure out what resonates the best with your target audience. Monitor the results you get and accordingly make the necessary changes. Before you make your website live, do not forget to test it on different devices and across the different browsers. Your website should offer the same user experience to each and every one, irrespective of the device or browser or the location.
More than half of the traffic coming to your website is browsing through their mobile device. While desktops are wide, mobile phone have height greater than the width. Take into major consideration this attribute while you design a mobile friendly website. You can even take help from experienced professionals to rest assured that your website is loved equally by mobile and desktop users.