When putting up a website, creating a mobile version isn’t even an option anymore–it’s necessary. A mobile version makes it easier for people who only have access to your website using a phone to navigate. If you’re planning to launch a website, here are some tips to help you get that mobile version fluid, perfect, and user-friendly.
The first thing you need to do is make your website invulnerable to cyber-attacks of any kind. Do this by purchasing an SSL certificate. What it does is encrypt the data being sent to and from your website, making it unreadable to anyone who does not have the right encryption key. This should be your first priority because Google tags secure website. You will notice that a website will have either a bright green “Secure” next to their URL or an ominously red “Not Secure.” That red is definitely eye-catching, and you will definitely lose traffic because of it.
Again, and again, and again. A mobile website doesn’t mean that the entire website has to have a mobile-ready version. People visiting your site on mobile only need to see the information they need, not everything all at once on one page. This can mean a plainer homepage with an easy to see “about us” with all of your contact information, or a product listing page.
This also means figuring out which pages you’ll retain for the mobile version, or maybe creating a friendlier version of a “contact us” page that doesn’t contain a dozen fields to fill out.
While you’re figuring out which pages to eliminate, you should also think about how to showcase your brand, products, and information in such a small space. Don’t think about cramming too much text into white spaces you see. Leave some out—it gives your website a cleaner, crisper, more sophisticated look.
However, even though you’ve created a mobile-friendly website, it is also recommended that you allow your visitors to access a full version of your website should they prefer not to navigate through a trimmed down version, or if they feel like the mobile version isn’t giving them what they need.
Always remember that you’re designing a website to be navigated with fingers and not mice. There are some people who might have fat, clumsy fingers, or devices with smaller screens, so think of designs that do not ask users to zoom or pinch too much. Consider using dropdowns or checkboxes instead of asking users to type in their answers, minimizing if not eliminating the struggle of using the phone’s keyboard, or creating displays big enough so that users with smaller devices can still use the website.
To make your website available to all mobile users, you must avoid Flash or Java. iOS doesn’t support Flash and Java can severely cripple the good experience users will get on your website, especially now that many phones do not support Java anymore. Apple has a good chunk of the mobile user demographic and denying them unmitigated access to your website and your brand means losing potential customers and sales.
Building a mobile-friendly website might prove a challenge, but it’s a way for you to show your visitors your creativity, and a way to spread awareness of your brand by reaching more people and penetrating new audiences. Remember to always put your users first!