Is your web site Mobile Ready?

Glenn Slick Media Blog 2 Comments

The Explosion Of The Mobile Web

The mobile web is growing at a phenomenal pace, and is forecast to overtake the desktop web in 2014. In other words, more users will access the Internet using a mobile phone rather than a PC for the first time.

Approximately 900 million people currently access the web with mobile phones, compared to 1.4 billion desktop Internet users. In 2014, mobile web users will outpace desktop users (approximately 1.7 billion mobile users to approximately 1.65 billion desktop users). By 2015, the number of mobile web users is expected to grow to 2 billion.

Assuming an annual growth rate of about 2 percent annually between 2010 and 2015 in cell phone subscriptions (77 percent of the world’s population will have cell phone subscriptions in 2010 and 87 percent will have subscriptions in 2015), about 6.35 billion people worldwide will have a mobile phone subscription and approximately 1 out of 3 subscribers(or 2 billion out of 6.35 billion) will be accessing the Internet on mobile phones. (Source: Wikimedia)

And according to the August, 2011 edition of eMarketer, 33 percent of mobile users are looking to access local content relevant to their GPS positioned location.

Is Your Website Ready?

So, what does all of this mean to you? It means more people than ever will be viewing your website through a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet computer, via a wireless network. It also means that if you want to survive and thrive, you have to adjust and adapt, and make your website mobile web friendly. The good news is, it’s easier than you think.

“Within the Alexa top 1,000 sites, 40.1 percent of all sites are mobile-friendly. These sites represent the world’s most popular web properties, like Google, Facebook and Yahoo!

Beyond the top 1,000, mobile friendliness still holds strong but is not yet as widespread. Of the top 10,000 Alexa sites, 29.7 percent perform well on mobiles. Once the input data is broadened to include the top 500,000 sites, the total number of mobile-friendly sites drops to 19.3 percent.” (Source: mobiThinking.com)

If you haven’t already done so, the very first thing you need to do is bring your website up to speed visually. In other words, you want to make sure that users of mobile devices can view your site optimally.

The quickest and easiest way to do this is to run your site through the MobiReady online testing site. This is a free service that evaluates mobile-readiness using industry best practices & standards.

The free report provides both a score (from 1 to 5) and in-depth analysis of pages to determine how well your site performs on a mobile device. There are also other tools that will allow you to test your site for mobile readiness. In fact, here are 10 Excellent Tools for Testing Your Site on Mobile Devices.

Personally, I have serious doubts about the accuracy of these types of testing tools. For example, I ran my site through MobiReady, and it gave my site a 2 out of 5 score which, according to their analysis is bad. I got the exact same score before and after I mobil-optimized my site.

Here’s the problem: I’ve had many friends and colleagues of mine, all with different makes and models of smartphones, on a variety of platforms, tell me that my site looks just fine on their phones. So while testing tools may be a useful resource, the true litmus test is what users of mobile devices are seeing – so be sure to ask them.

That being said, there ARE things you can do to mobile-optimize your website.

How To Make Your Website Mobile Compatible

1. Have a fast-loading site. Chances are, most mobile-web users who are using their phones to access the Internet are using a slower 3G connection. You can help these users out by making sure your website code is clean, which will not only make for a faster-loading site, but faster downloads as well.

2. Don’t use flash. Not all mobile devices can see flash? Personally, I’m not a huge fan of flash sites anyway. But if you absolutely, positively have to have a flash site, be both smart and considerate. Make sure you have an alternate HTML version of your site as well.

3. Have a clean, easy to navigate website. Remember, mobile users are viewing your site on a tiny little screen. In addition, there is no mouse and not all mobile devices are equipped with a touch screen. So don’t make it harder for mobile users to view or utilize your site than it needs to be. Clean up the clutter and streamline your content. Simplify, simplify, simplify. If you keep it simple, your site will be user-friendly for everybody.

4. Use HTML phone numbers. Don’t make mobile users have to type in your phone number. Use HTML so that they can simply click to dial the number.

5. Avoid horizontal scrolling. Mobile users prefer to scroll vertically as opposed to horizontally. It’s easier and less of a hassle for them. Always create your content as a single column of text that wraps for mobile users.

6. Use images sparingly. As I mentioned earlier, most mobile users are using a slower 3G connection. As a result, heavier images can take forever to load. To avoid this problem, you should use images sparingly on your website. But if you do choose to use images, they should be lighter-weight jpeg, gif or png format. Also, make sure to compress your images to avoid zooming.

7. Voice Search. Google’s Voice Search on smartphones, has increased voice search usage by approximately 600% in the past year. Since mobile devices don’t have a traditional keyboard like a PC or laptop, voice search makes searching quicker and easier for smartphone users. So you should definitely keep an eye on this trend for SEO purposes. Bear in mind, people tend to search differently when speaking as opposed to typing. For example, while you might type-search “best virtual assistants,” you might voice-search “what are the best virtual assistant services?” Again, it’s a trend you should keep an eye on.

From original article by: David Jackson

About the Author
Is your web site Mobile Ready? Is your web site Mobile Ready? 0da77002febbfe28d15144a57bbcc2c9 s 180 d mm r g

Glenn

A highly experienced WordPress Web Developer, Front-end and Back-end Developer & New Media Specialist with extensive knowledge of a wide spectrum of technologies in the Development and Creative Industries built up over a number of years.

Comments 2

  1. With a lot more mobile web customers and competition from all over the world These days getting technical for mobile website, is becoming a compulsory it is a new and a good way of promotion to get a mobile website.

  2. Post
    Author

    I completely agree, although the term a mobile web site can be taken at 3 different levels.

    1.At the basic level your site as you view it in a browser must display in appropriate size and display. This may require some additional coding to get it looking right – we actually do this as part of all our designs as this is simply ‘good web design’ practice. So you really shouldn’t pay more for this sort of service..

    2. At the intermediate level your site may have a completely different set of styles and coding to create a completely alternate ‘mobile’ web site. So size and dimensions will fit in both the size and conventions of mobile devices. jQuery and CSS are particularly good technologies for this approach. From our side of things there are additional charges for this as a distinct web service.

    3. You create a mobile application to completely take over your mobile business. These days ‘Apps’ are very effective tools for drawing information from a database or in getting your marketing and sales message across in an interactive and immersive manner. See our sister site http://www.appdevuk.com for Mobile Application Development here in the UK.

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