Tips on creating a Mobile Friendly Website.
Since April 2015, Google has started to implement series important new changes which will potentially affect the ranking of current mobile friendly websites. According to the multi-billion dollar company, adjustments to the previously used algorithms will likely have a global scale impact on all mobile searches performed in future. Sitting a need for higher quality results during mobile searches as the key reason for the need of a new approach, Google hopes that changes similar to theirs will encourage more companies to develop a mobile friendly websites as part of their online presence. Web Administrators being offered a range of online tools to help test compatibility of their sites with mobile devices and apps will now be a contributor towards where the websites ranking will appear in search results.
Accepted Configurations for Mobile Designs
Responsive, Dynamic and Separate URLs are the three main mobile friendly website configurations that Google can currently categorize. The URL and HTML of these configurations will both remain the same, but with the addition of ‘Responsive design‘, which is used to alter how the page will look and be presented on the various mobile screen sizes. However, with the current Dynamic Serving Configuration, the only thing that remains the same is the URL.
Making a site Mobile Friendly
Regardless of the mobile phone and operating system choice made by the user, it is considered imperative that developers now ensure that the sites they operate are practical to use and accessible to as many people as possible. The following guidelines are helpful to bear in mind for any web developer when creating as much of a mobile friendly website as possible to users.
Firstly, the crucial Meta tags. This should not be forgotten! The Meta tag is an important piece of the web development process for a mobile friendly site and without it, any website will not work as efficiently as possible on all mobile devices. If this particular tool is used correctly, then the site will be improperly scaled for the size of the users screen, simply creating a poor quality, zoomed out and pixilated version of the desktop site.
A web developer should also keep in mind that font and button sizes are a hugely important for mobile friendly site users. Given that they will be using their fingers instead of a mouse, with a potential degree of inaccuracy resulting from this, the developer should consider making the clickable items large and easy to select. An approach of using a font size at approximately 12 to 14px, with a button at least a minimum of 44 by 44px, is suggested. If they are produce in a too small or fiddly manner, this increases the chance of a user pressing the wrong button multiple times, creating a sense of frustration and reluctance to use the website in future.
Desktop or Full Version
A helpful tip for mobile friendly website creation would be to offer the user an option of choosing between ‘viewing the desktop version’ or ‘viewing the full website’. There will always be some mobile users who prefer to have the full experience of a site and won’t mind scrolling horizontally or vertically across their screens. By giving your user the choice to select how they would like their viewing experience to be, you are maximising the outreach of your platform to as many potential clients as possible.
With the full version vs. desktop element in mind, any developer will also not want to discourage those who may prefer the more natural mobile friendly website experience with a risk of accidentally zooming out or in on a page while using it. For these clients, offer the option of zoom to be disabled if necessary so if they would like to use this feature at any part of their browsing session, it is still made readily available to them. Here, the ‘one click’ alternative works well, allowing a quick and simple adjustment to their preferred screen setting.
Layout is key
Finally, sticking with a simple layout is always a good idea for a mobile friendly website experience. On a small screen, a clean and simple site design can work incredibly well. Too many elements prevent the site from loading quickly and efficiently, and can give an impression of seeming overwhelming and cluttered. Given that most mobile users have a tendency to need information at their fingertips as quickly as possible; it would be in the best interest of the web developer to keep graphics, content and so forth, all on one page to create simplicity.
Making a mobile friendly website is a simple and effective way to ensure your business reaches as many potential clients as possible, and with today’s modern tools, it’s easier than ever to ensure yours works as efficiently as it can for you. Through research, and keeping up to date with the latest trends and requirements for your site, you are working towards the best possible ranking and reach for your site. For those developers or business owners who want to present their professional work to as many potential people as possible, the time and money spent from adding the option of a mobile friendly platform to their online presence will pay dividends in the future. The goal here is to present your business in a simple and effective manner to encourage your ordinary user to move to that of a potential customer, increasing both sales and reputation.
Whilst the creation of a website may require time, patience and certain degree of competence in the specified skill area, it should not deter your from reaching towards a larger online presence. The changes in algorithms implemented by Google may seem a little daunting to incorporate at first, but encourage both the developer and user to work towards the best possible browsing experience, and in turn, impression of your site or business.