There’s a good chance that you’ve heard this term mentioned recently and it’s okay if you aren’t sure exactly what it means. It doesn’t have anything to do with your car or being easy to do while driving—it concerns your website. Having a mobile-friendly site has never been more important.
That’s because mobile devices made up 71% of total minutes spent online in America over the past year. That includes smartphones, smart watches, and tablets. If your site isn’t designed to be easy to use on a mobile device A.K.A. “mobile friendly,” then you’re losing a lot of potential visitors and customers.
How Can I Tell If My Site is Mobile Friendly?
In the past, websites were designed to be navigated on a desktop or laptop computer. The coding of many sites didn’t take into account what would happen when you went from a large square screen to a small rectangular one. This led to photos getting disoriented and making it hard to navigate from page to page. If you aren’t sure if your site is ready to go mobile, follow these steps:
- Right click on your homepage and select “Inspect” from the menu
- In the top left corner, you’ll see an image of a screen with a smaller one in front of it
- Click that one to toggle between screen types and it will show you how your site appears and functions on a mobile phone
How Can I Make My Site Mobile Friendly?
It takes a little work, but it’s worth it. Once coders realized the issues people had viewing websites on mobile devices, they started writing language that allowed photos and menus to change size and orientation when viewed on different kinds of devices. This is called a “Responsive Design” because it is built with flexibly sized elements instead of set pixel sizes. This is still one of the most common ways to make your website mobile friendly. It’s the simplest way to look good when someone finds your site on a smartphone.
A separate mobile site is also an option (Known as an ‘m dot’ site because it places an “m” before your normal URL). If you can’t convert your site to a responsive design, you’ll have to build a separate site that’s hosted on a subdomain. It will have its own HTML and can look different from your main site if there are things you want to include just for mobile users. Facebook uses an m dot site.
If you have a lot of users, you may need more than just a mobile site. Large companies often also use a mobile app, which requires users to download an app and install it on their device in order to use it. Sites like Yelp!, Amazon, and Twitter offer apps for mobile devices.
If you want to make your website mobile friendly, you can always contact PCG Companies to help you design a fresh, new site that is ready to impress on any device.