So you have created and designed your perfect website. You have spent hours upon hours making sure every last detail and design element is in place, checking that it is user friendly, easy to navigate, quick loading and full of information. Unfortunately, you may have overlooked one little thing – mobile optimisation. These days, so much of online traffic is generated on mobile devices instead of at desktop or laptop computers, that it is very important to have a website that works just as effectively on these smaller devices.
As it turns out, a sleekly designed standard website could turn clunky and difficult to
navigate on a mobile device. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to optimise your website
for mobile devices. Read this article to learn some top mobile optimization tips.
I. Create a separate subdomain
The first step is to set up a separate mobile domain of your website, where viewers
will default to when trying to access your site from a mobile browser. Work with your
website’s web host to make this work, but generally this is as simple as adding an “m.” to
the beginning of the URL (See m.artdriver.co.uk as an example). According to Google, you may also consider implementing a responsive design.
II. Think about navigation
Once you have set up this parallel page, take a look at your design elements, and
think about how you navigate on a mobile device. Mobile devices are generally touch
screen, so you want clean, obvious icons that you can easily read and click on when using
a small screen. Additionally, try and stay away from lot of images – they tend to slow
down the loading time (the standard page size is only 20KB, much smaller than many
standard image sizes), and can throw off the formatting, making pages difficult to read
III. Text formatting
When aligning your text, try and center it. Formatting can be difficult to maintain on
a mobile device, and by centering it, you can ensure that it will always be readable, not
lost off of the readable area of the screen. Whenever possible use drop-down menus and
checklists, this will make it more easy for people to use your site.
IV. Create a template
While this might sound like a lot of work, if you maintain a site with a lot of similar
pages – for example a blog with regular posts, a free classifieds site with many listings, or
an e-commerce site with different product pages – spend some time working on a master
template, do not try and optimize each page individually.
All this might seem like a lot of work at the outset, but it will be totally worth it when
you see the amount of business you are getting from mobile web users!
Mary Johnson is a freelance editor specializing in technology related articles. Mary currently works for independent free classifieds website Tothego.co.uk.