Simple Tips To Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

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With roughly one third (32%) of mobile phones used in the UK being smartphones, it is becoming more and more essential that businesses adapt their websites to this format.

E-commerce is rising steadily and a large proportion of this growth is tied up in the world of mobile communication and portable computing. So now designers not only have to build a E-commerce website they also need to ensure that their site works on a smartphone.

A report from 2011 revealed that more than half of professionals in the United States (57%) expected smartphones, computer tablets or other portable devices to be their main computing device as early as this year. On top of this, figures showed that 48% of those in possession of a mobile phone had used it to make a purchase with projections for future growth estimating online spend via mobiles would account for 64% in 2015; as opposed to 15% in 2011.

To make sure that your business is on track to perform well on mobile platforms, there are a few simple steps you should take.

Connection Speed

This can be a major problem when viewing a website. A cluttered site will not only look untidy but will take a great deal more time to view as smartphones operate at slower speeds than PCs due to their limited capacities.

According to figures, websites which load too slowly on smartphones are a common problem for mobile web users, with 73% reporting this complaint. When asked about whether they expected their desktop or mobile to be faster at loading web content, the fast majority expected their phones to lag behind with only 12% expecting their phone to outperform their PC.

Whilst improvements are always being made to smartphone specifications, computers experience a similar rate of growth and that means technical capabilities are always likely to remain imbalanced.

To combat this, try reducing the amount of information that is displayed on each page. Reducing image sizes, cutting out content that is not needed and adding space to the layout will not only look great but it will improve the speed at which the site is loaded dramatically.

Reduce your Copy

Good copywriting is the key to many websites but the most important thing to remember with a mobile-friendly site is that less is more. By distilling the essence of your copywriting onto a mobile site and using as little as possible the site is able to remain free, clear and appealing.

Even when viewed on a desktop monitor, a website which is crammed full of words can be extremely frustrating to navigate. When using a smartphone, this feeling is intensified and the page can become cluttered and hard to digest. 79% of users do not read web pages in full but skim information as quickly as possible. For every additional 100words of content, users will spend an average of 4.4seconds on the webpage whilst less than one fifth (16%) of users will read web content word for word.

This means that cluttering your webpage with lengthy paragraphs will be extremely detrimental to your business. Users will typically skip paragraphs if their attention is not immediately captivated so the use of attention-grabbing sub headings, bold font, keyword placement and bulleted lists are all needed. This breaks up the content into more manageable sections, making it easier to view and digest.

Install a Mobile plug-in

Mobile plug-ins can help you to build a mobile-friendly site in moments. They are specifically tailored to modify the layout of your existing website for optimised mobile usage. They are available in many different styles, are fully customisable and could save you a great deal of money in the short term as they are extremely easy to use. Great examples of mobile plug-ins include:

WP Mobile Detector

This plug-in is available in a free format, via WordPress.org, or as a more professional version at cost from Websitez.com. It supports more than 5,000 web-enabled phones and other portable devices.

WP Touch

This plug-in doesn’t interfere with your desktop website design but creates a mobile friendly version of your site with ease. BlackBerry, Android and iOS operating systems are all supported. WP Touch is available from WordPress.org.

Wapple Architect Mobile Plug-in

This customises the appearance of your website to a mobile format, irrespective of what mobile device is being used. The style of your site is retained during the conversion. Wapple Architect is also available from WordPress.org.

One E-commerce Tool

Bluepark mobile-optimised E-commerce software: For those who don’t want to worry about their E-commerce baskets failing to work on a smartphone, use Bluepark’s E-commerce software. This software enables smooth transactions and includes all the trust signals that mobile users need to entice them to go through with the purchase.

This was a guest post by Valentina Deccio, a web designer for Webeden-the free website building tool. When she's not designing stunning website templates for the tool, she is sharing her technical and design knowledge with the web design community.

2 Comments

  • August 28, 2012

    zabox.net

    Simple Tips To Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly | Concept Dezain…

    With roughly one third (32%) of mobile phones used in the UK being smartphones, it is becoming more and more essential that businesses adapt their websites to this format….

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