Mobile devices are becoming the go-to platform for everything from business lookups to listening to music on the go. This trend will only increase, meaning you need to ensure that your web design is mobile ready and responsive if you want to compete for market share.
But, what does it mean to be “mobile ready”?
Readiness shouldn’t be confused with mobile indexing. When a website is mobile-ready, that means it was created using a responsive design that makes each page of the app look and perform the same no matter what device it’s you use for access. In order for a website to be properly evaluated and ranked by Google, web crawlers must be able to read each page as it would appear on a smartphone or tablet.
Google has made readiness a priority when assessing websites for SERPs, and most developers take a mobile-first approach to design.
One of the areas that a lot of people neglect is choosing a performance-focused theme. Founder of hosting review site Aussie Hosting mentioned in a recent Smashing Magazine interview that, “When it comes to picking a good theme for mobile what you want is performance. Looking for a lightweight theme that has minified CSS components will lead to a huge increase in loading time and speed for your mobile website.”
Mobile Usage Statistics
The popularity and increased importance of mobile devices is highlighted in usage statistics that outline the need for optimization. Security is another important concern.
– Mobile device usage is expected to reach 275 million by the year 2022.
– The average person spends about five hours each day on their smartphone; 16 percent go online exclusively using their smartphone.
– In 2017 alone, 178 billion apps were downloaded; this number is expected to increase to 258 billion within the next three years.
– Revenues from mobile apps are expected to increase to $188.9 billion by 2020.
– 63 percent of all digital ad revenue in 2018 was generated by mobile use.
– 56 percent of all search traffic generated by Google is from mobile devices.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile Readiness by Avoiding These Issues
Mobile use and proliferation have reached levls where there’s a reliable set of best practices for developers and web hosts. Below are the most common errors to avoid when building a website.
1. Not Testing Your Website for Mobile Optimization
Seasoned developers and site administrators know how important testing during design and production can be in checking for security and performance issues. It’s just as important to test your website for mobile-readiness.
Failure to do so will lead to:
- Text that’s too small to read and buttons too small for most fingers
- Links that are too close together and too tiny to tap
- Mobile viewports not being set
This last point has to do with how a smartphone presents pages by default. Unless the initial design is responsive, the result will be pages that look like mini-versions of desktop content that aren’t legible unless you zoom in. Browsers can be configured to present more readable pages by constructing the meta viewport like this:
meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″
You can check the readiness of your mobile website in various ways. Google mobile testing tools can make the process of evaluating your mobile-friendliness efficient and accurate.
2. Making information Hard to Find
Users are often getting their information on the go, and they need it fast. When you make the information they need is difficult to find on your mobile page, it leads to frustration and higher bounce rates.
3. Using Flash
Players like Flash and other licensed vehicles weren’t designed for mobile use. Avoid using content that needs Flash or non-mobile players to view.
4. Not Compressing Files and Images
This is a best practice for any website design. Compressing JS coding and CSS as well as optimizing images will ensure that your load times and content quality don’t suffer.
While it’s true that these elements can slow down your website, that doesn’t mean that you should eliminate them completely. Doing so will not only affect performance, it will cause penalties by Google. You can check whether they’re being blocked with this tool.
6. Not Properly Setting Redirects
This is the result of not prioritizing responsive design. An improper redirect is any that points a mobile user to an improper or incorrect URL that would ordinarily work fine on a desktop or laptop. You can check for these using Google Webmaster Tools.
7. Allowing Mobile-Only 404 Errors
Again, his can be avoided with responsive, mobile-first design. The issue occurs when a web page that will load perfectly fine on a desktop or laptop computer returns a 404 “Page Not Found” error when you try to access it on a mobile device.
Tips and Best Practices for Ensuring Mobile-Friendliness
In addition to avoiding common mistakes in design, marketing, and performance, there are steps you can take to make sure that your website or app is mobile-friendly and optimized for peak performance and high security.
1. Test your website for mobile readiness.
2. Choose a mobile-friendly option that’s best for you, such as creating a separate website for eCommerce and mobile app hosting, using dynamic servers, and responsive design.
3. Use mobile SEO best-practices.
4. Use the right tools to help with optimization, performance and security monitoring, and mobile SEO.
Speed and performance affect more than just mobile readiness. Theses factors can damage public perception. According to one report, you have only 55 milliseconds to make a good impression on visitors and app users. As people rely more on mobile platforms, they will become harder to please.
Using the above suggestions will help you avoid common issues and ensure stable performance and a high rate of availability. Let us know in the comments how they worked for you.