More and more people are doing business, shopping, finding entertainment, and communicating with the world directly from their phones and tablets. Mobile devices and their users present a range of challenges to web developers who must meet the growing demands of technology with accessible, responsive platforms. This means that it’s crucial for designers to create websites that not only look good and are easy to use but that also can adapt to fit the range of devices being used.
Let’s take a look at some of the unique challenges and considerations for developers of mobile sites.
Responsive Web Design
Due to the increasing range of sizes and types of devices being used to access the Internet, it’s important that your website is equipped with the ability to adapt to the screen size of different devices. Whether your site is viewed on a 4” cell phone or 15” laptop, the design should flow nicely and provide your visitors with optimized accessibility and navigation for each of those screen sizes. Columns will rearrange for best layout, buttons will resize, and images will shrink or expand to fit the specified areas.
Why is that important? Because it prevents the frustration that occurs when a visitor must scroll across their phone’s screen with their fingers in order to view the content that was only designed to be viewed on a laptop size screen. The better the experience someone has with your site, the more likely they are to come back to it and to use it for the purpose you intend, whether to purchase products, view content, or learn about a topic.
Quick Load Time
According to Google’s statistics, 53% of visitors abandon a site after waiting three seconds for content to load. Many sites that are designed primarily to be viewed on desktops and laptop computers can load painfully slow on mobile devices and actually time out. Most of us have had the experience of trying to view a web page, only to be met with a spinning wheel or blank page while elements attempt to load over a slow internet connection. Proper set up of your site will include image and content optimization, caching, and scripting that provide a speedy delivery to your visitors.
Search Engine Optimized
No matter how beautiful or responsive your site is, it’s not much use if no one can find it. Search engine optimization refers to the practice of using specific strategies that help search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing find and rank your site in searches. Some of these strategies include the use of keywords in meta descriptions and other elements that tell the search engines what your page is about. Ideally, you will have no less than 300 words on each of your pages to ensure that Google understands your page’s content and also to keep your readers engaged on the page as long as possible.
User Experience and Design
No one likes a cluttered site with confusing color schemes, hard-to-read fonts, and pages that don’t lead them to the information they’re looking for. Your site should be not only quick to load and easy to find through search engines, but should be easy to use. Difficult sites discourage users from completing the action intended for them. No one will want to complete a purchase on an e-commerce site if they can’t find the checkout button or can’t figure out drop down menus to choose features for the product. It should be simple and directed towards the end goal. Along with the responsive styles and quick load speed, the site should be easy to navigate and well-directed.
SSL Security for Customer Confidence
SSL certificates are no longer optional for sites. They not only provide an extra layer of security against online hackers, but they also give customers the confidence to trust your site with their credit card information. Secure Socket Layers also are more and more encouraged by Google, which tries to promote a secure online world. In order to get more people to start using them with their sites, they’ve said they will actually rank SSL-encrypted sites a bit higher than similar sites without SSL. It’s something to consider, even for a non-ecommerce site.
Connected and Shareable
If you utilize social media platforms for your business, and you should, be sure to include links to these profiles in an obvious place on your site. Anyone researching your company will want to see them in order to find reviews and recommendations from other users. Your site should also include a feature that allows visitors to share your content on social media. You want as many shares as possible. It’s free advertising for you and over time will draw a relevant audience to your site as people recommend you and your content.
At Mainspring Technology, we make this process simple for you by providing the technological resources and support needed to establish and grow your business online. Don’t get snagged in the technical details. Let us help you create your web solution. Contact us for more details.