Providing a mobile-friendly version of your website for iPhone and Android users may sound intimidating, but it is easier than you think. With several different options for configuring a mobile-friendly way to visit your site, you will encourage viewers of different backgrounds and lifestyles to visit you on the web. With a little tweaking, your mobile-friendly website will be up and running in no time.
Why Go Mobile?
Allowing mobile smartphone users to access your website will greatly increase your traffic, especially if your company has an active presence on social media platforms that link to your site. Much of modern youth engages in online browsing through their phones more than viewing on desktop or laptop computers, so you will be making your website and its information accessible to a wider demographic by going mobile. For example, if you are promoting a business for Denver web design, you will likely want to make your services as broadly available as possible.
It is also convenient for you to check up on the appearance and function of your site from your own smartphone, especially if you are just launching an online presence. A handful of services out there help you convert your website to a smartphone-friendly version, although they are often pricey. Some hosting services also offer easy mobile versions of their DIY design capabilities; however, if you want to do this yourself, here are some recommended ways to take your website from the desktop and laptop to the mobile application.
1. Responsive Web Design
The following is Google’s most suggested way of creating a mobile-friendly site. It allows you to maintain your initial HTML and CSS coding that is used in your desktop design, while also keeping your website’s regular URL. Add the following Meta Tag to your code:
This piece of code is necessary for letting browsers know that your site is mobile friendly. It also ensures that mobile devices will accurately resize the page and its content to suit the dimensions of the smartphone. Without it, your webpage will show up as it would on a computer and require viewers to pinch and resize the page to see it correctly. Sometimes, even this action doesn’t work, and your page doesn’t allow for quick and easy browsing on smartphones. It will also display fonts incorrectly, so your page*s critical information, such as your services for web design in Denver, won’t be easily viewable. This code will prevent that mistake.
2. Dynamic Serving
In this configuration, you will keep your original desktop URL but use different coding. On the desktop version of your website, it won’t be apparent that different code is used for mobile devices. Add this code to your HTML header section:
GET /page-1 HTTP/1.1
(…rest of HTTP request headers…)
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
(… rest of HTTP response headers)
This code is important for letting browsers know that the website response will vary depending upon the user agent trying to access it.
3. Using Separate URLs
This method offers a regular desktop URL along with a separate mobile-friendly URL and different codes for each version of your site. Your site will determine which device your users are on and automatically redirect them to the correct URL with the appropriate code.
Add the following piece of code to your desktop HTML:
<link rel=”alternate” media=”only screen and (max-width: 640px)”
Now, add this following code to your mobile HTML (http://m.example.com/page-1):
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.example.com/page-1” >
Things to Avoid
Now that you have some easy code options for setting up a mobile-friendly website, here are a few more things to keep in mind. There are common mistakes that website owners make when arranging a mobile-friendly version of their site that prevent mobile visitors from accessing critical information about the business or service from their phones.
Using Flash: Avoid excessively flashy content (literally!). Even if you have an exciting visual portfolio that demonstrates your business’ specialty, such as Denver website design, remember that mobile users are more interested in getting information quickly and conveniently right from their phones. Choose a simpler way to display imagery that won’t load too slowly on smartphones. Avoid embedded YouTube or Vimeo videos, especially on the homepage, if you haven’t double-checked their appearance on a smartphone.
Redirecting to Apps: Forcing your viewers to download an app in the middle of their browsing experience can be frustrating, as can redirecting to a related or advertiser’s app when they unwittingly click on a misleading link. Don’t try to trick your visitors into downloading any apps, even if they are your own. Invite them to do so, but don’t make it the only option for smartphone users. They should be able to view your website in a browser as well.
‘Mobile-friendly’ Link: It is better to avoid making smartphone viewers click on a ‘mobile-friendly version’ link, which can slow down the load time and detract from their viewing experience. The mobile friendly version should load automatically.
Blocked Code and Images: Googlebot needs to be able to crawl your website and its content to accurately index and rank your site. If you block Googlebot, this necessary action will not be able to perform successfully. Your rankings may also suffer, so your services for Denver web design may be outranked by competitors.
Desktop Problems: If your desktop version suffers from design or information problems, your mobile version will read just as poorly. Even before you begin editing code specifically for mobile devices, it can help to simplify your website’s design a little bit on the desktop version. Keep critical information immediately available, such as contact information, prices (if applicable) and social media links.
If you need to check on the mobile visibility and accessibility of your website, check Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test using the following link:
Now that you’ve set up a mobile-friendly version of your website, congratulations are in order! With the added benefits of mobile access, you offer potential customers, clients, readers and fans more viewing options, thus increasing your audience draw, and nothing is more important that having people engaged in you and your business.