Why Is Mobile Friendly Design Important?
Since 2007 there has been rapid growth in the use of smart phones necessitating the need for mobile friendly websites. In line with this growth, we have seen a gradual rise in the amount of people using their smart phones to search for things online. In 2014 a seismic shift occurred with over 50% of all Google searches being conducted on phones and tablets rather than PC’s and laptops.
It’s important to note that on smaller screens, people use the internet differently. For this reason, many websites show mobile specific web pages to their users rather than their standard web pages. This ‘mobile’ content is usually stripped down, often with custom images that are smaller, designed to load faster using mobile connections, rather than high speed wifi.
Mobile phones also require spacing between links so users can easily select the content that they want. Many standard web pages are just shrunk to fit a smaller screen, meaning that links shrink in size, becoming harder to read and even harder to select. Many sites also require zooming in order to be read easily.
Google has addressed this issue. In April 2015 it released a Mobile algorithm designed to reward mobile friendly websites with higher rankings at the expense of non mobile friendly sites.
Is your website mobile friendly? Check here with Google’s free tool
Mobile Website Compatibility Options
There are two basic ways to make your website mobile friendly. You can either add mobile sized page content that will be shown to relevant users instead of your main content if they are using a phone or tablet, or you can build a responsive site.
What Is Responsive Design?
A responsive website is one that automatically resizes your content depending on the device it is being viewed on. Below certain pixel widths, your site will remove unnecessary content, re-format menu’s, images etc. to streamline your site layout.
Each version of a mobile friendly site has their own pro’s and con’s. Depending on your content, you will need to tweak your CSS so that the mobile version of your site shows correctly on a wide range of screen sizes.