3 Ways to make your website mobile-ready (Part 1)
Last year, there were 1.5 billion local searches made from mobile devices.
Information Week reported that there are over 61.5 million smartphones in use today.
What does that mean for your business? Potentially it means lots more customers, but most local businesses have not taken advantage of this huge opportunity for exposure to consumers on their geographic area.
Launching a mobile-marketing strategy is a fairly complex process so get started off on the right foot by going through these three points.
Mobile-compatible versus Mobile-friendly
You probably don’t think there’s a difference. There is. I promise.
The wide range of mobile operating systems, mobile browsers, and smartphone manufacturers has created a compatibility nightmare that web designers haven’t known since IE6. Following the tips below will help ensure that your smartphone visitors get a design that delivers a consistent, positive experience.
Tips for making your website mobile compatible:
- Validate your code at W3C
- Use tools like ySlow and PageSpeed to see how you can speed up your load times (this will help for desktop browsing too)
- Compress your images using Smush.it. Images slow down any site, but are especially heavy for smartphone users. Smush.it can cut your loading time in half in some cases, and usually by at least 30%.
Considerations for making your website mobile compatible:
- Mobile compatible websites still don’t offer an ideal user experience. Lots of zooming in and out for your mobile visitors.
- Mobile visitors generally aren’t interested in your entire website while on a mobile device so they may back out of your website because information is harder to find on a smartphone.
In contrast, a mobile-friendly design is a completely separate design that only appears for people who visit your website from a mobile phone. A mobile-friendly design should make it easy for smartphone users to access and use information about your company and services.
Tips for making your website mobile friendly:
- Use a tool that identifies when a smartphone or Mobile User Agent accesses your website
- Validate your code using W3C’s mobile code validation
- Warning! This tool is brutal. Be prepared to score 0% your first time through
- Remove images from your mobile design as much as possible
- Test your design using all of your friends’ smartphones
Considerations for making your website mobile friendly:
- This isn’t generally very cheap unless you’re using WP Touch PRO in which case it is dirt cheap. Yet another reason to develop on WordPress.
Mobile browser, device, and operating system combinations are virtually endless. So don’t expect your website to look exactly the same on every device or every browser. The important thing is that your smartphone visitors can still navigate your website in a way that allows them to find what they need and contact your business.
Example of a mobile-compatible website: Knotty Alder Cabinets
Example of a mobile-friendly website (visit in a mobile browser): Salt Lake City Bankruptcy Attorney