How to Switch to a Mobile Optimized Interface for Your Website
The biggest societal wide development of the past decade has undoubtedly been the introduction of the mobile internet. Smartphones and tablets have changed how people communicate, obtain information and browse the web. Pew Research reported that 77 percent of adults in the United States own a smartphone.
Mobile devices have had a huge impact on nearly every sector of society. One of the biggest, however, has been for website owners. Mobile phones browse the internet in a much different way than desktop and laptop computers do. As such, a website that is not optimized for this mobile use may suffer as a result. In fact, Google punishes such websites in its rankings for searches performed on mobile devices. Keeping that in mind, below are some of the ways you can change you website interface to make it more mobile friendly.
Skip Having a Non-Mobile Friendly Version of Your Website
Several years ago, when mobile internet was a much newer phenomenon, it was standard practice to create a mobile friendly version of a website as well as a version for desktop and laptop use. This is no longer standard practice. Most developers simply create one mobile optimized version. The laptop and desktop users can still navigate through mobile optimized sites, and the market for laptop and desktop computers is shrinking regardless.ZDNet reported that mobile internet use surpassed desktop internet use back in 2016.
Flash Is Out
One thing that has been abandoned in this mobile internet age is Adobe Flash. Flash simply doesn’t play well with mobile platforms. As such, most websites and website developers are phasing it out completely. What has replaced it is HTML5. YouTube, for example, dropped Flash for HTML5 back in 2015.
Images Should Be in High Resolution
Another big change for mobile internet has been the fact that such small screens can have such high resolution. Some newer, and quite expensive, phones even come with screens in 4K Ultra HD. While that isn’t the standard yet, you should at least begin publishing higher resolution photos on your websites to take advantage of what mobile platforms are capable of. Tiny JPEG images with digital noise are no longer adequate.
Websites Should Only Scroll Up and Down
One of the biggest changes in regards to the transition from desktop web browsing to the mobile experience is the fact that mobile optimized websites only scroll up and down the page. This is of course reflective of the fact that the mobile screen is rectangular. It’s easier to scroll up and down on a rectangular touch screen. Your website should never scroll left to right. This was already bad web design before mobile, and it is even more so the case now. Use a WebDev Guide to help you learn how to code your website’s pages in this manner.
Don’t Use Default Zoom
Something else you should do away with when optimizing your website for mobile users is default zoom. One a mobile platform, implementing auto-zoom can cause havoc. It can mess up the entire layout of a webpage. This is especially the case in regards to the navigation and images.
Test Your Website on Multiple Mobile Platforms
Lastly, you need to perform extensive testing to ensure that your website is mobile friendly. You need to test your pages on as many different mobile platforms as possible. Just because your website loads fine on an iPhone does not mean that will be the case with a Blackberry that runs the Android operating system. How pages load can also be quite different on a tablet versus a smart phone screen.
Overall, mobile is here to stay. You don’t really have the option to not mobile optimize your website. While you could choose not to, it would be a death sentence for your traffic. As more and more people use mobile devices, this dynamic is certain to only increase in the future.