Creating Mobile Friendly Websites For Customers On the Go

Mobile friendly websites ensure that customers can engage content from a business anywhere at any time. Businesses should follow a few simple tips to make their websites easy for mobile phone users to browse.

Forecasters predict that there will be 1.7 billion mobile users by 2013, which means that companies that have not made their websites mobile-friendly will lose valuable customers. If the website is too small to navigate on the screen or the uploads and connections are too slow, then customers will point their browsers elsewhere. Businesses can use several tips to make their websites more friendly to mobile users.

Install Mobile Plug-ins

A simple mobile plug-in will transform a website into a mobile-friendly version in less than a minute. Businesses will want to start by making sure that their website theme is optimized for mobile. Then, businesses should back up their websites before installing the plug-in. A good plug-in will automatically detect when a website is being viewed over a mobile device and will switch the site over to the mobile version. Customers should still have the option of viewing the full website, so businesses will want to make sure to provide a button for that purpose.

Make the Mobile Site Easy to Navigate

To make mobile viewing friendly, a mobile version of a website should have content arranged vertically. Navigation from right to left on a smart phone is not easy and will cause customers to leave the site. Also, businesses should keep the site free of images, Flash animations and pop-ups that take a long time to load or clutter the site. The maximum size for a mobile page is 20 kilobytes, and, since mobile users are charged for the amount of data that they download, businesses should try to keep their mobile sites as small as possible.

Provide Clear Content

Visitors to a mobile website are probably on-the-go while viewing, so keeping content easy for them to read and digest is crucial. After choosing the appropriate content to display on a mobile site, businesses should adjust text size so that mobile users will not have to zoom in to navigate a menu. Also, clear headings and concise copy will help visitors to easily scan through content.

Keep Coding Simple

Mobile sites are best when coded with XML or XHTML. If using HTML or CSS, then developers should use the simplest coding possible. Because content is slim and difficult to optimize, developers will have to make effective use of title tags, meta description tags, filenames and heading tags.

Test the Site

Before launching a mobile website, businesses should test their website using a number of different devices. This will ensure that visitors are enjoying a high-quality mobile experience. For business owners who do not have access to multiple smart phones or tablets, many web-based emulators will provide a virtual preview of what a mobile site will look like on a number of different devices.

Different mobile devices have different screen sizes, so developers will want to avoid setting fixed pixel widths for screens. Instead, developers should program variable screen sizes and resolutions to scale page elements according to screen size. Businesses that make their websites mobile-friendly have 24/7 access to their customers. Customers will also appreciate the ability to take their favorite companies with them to any destination.