How Do You Make A Website Mobile Friendly?

Mobile FriendlyThere are a lot of Internet buzz words floating around — responsive, adaptive, hybrid — describing how to make a website mobile friendly, but for most people, the answer is not that complicated. For large businesses looking to make an impression on their customers, it’s usually necessary to spend a substantial amount of money on a website that responds to the type of device a viewer is using. For smaller websites, spending a lot of money isn’t necessary, but creating a responsive website is still a must. If you know a thing or two about template programming, you can make some quick changes to your website that will make it easy to view on any device.

Depending on who you ask, you may hear that having separate desktop and mobile websites is recommended. However, the big search engines, such as Google and Bing, say that it’s better to have one URL and a website that adapts to the viewing area and device displaying your site, according to Entrepreneur.  In general, making a website easy to view on any device is just a matter of simplifying it and putting all the important information at the top of the page, along with large buttons for people with low-resolution touch screens. There are a few more changes you can make to ensure a smooth user experience on smaller screens.

Detecting the Screen Size of a Device

According to SitePoint, you can use CSS to check the screen size of the device displaying your website and define separate style rules for screens smaller than, say, 500 pixels. In your CSS definition, add the @media tag along with a max-width attribute, as in the following example:

@media screen and (max-width: 500px) {Define style rules for small screens here.}

The types of changes you should make to your site when it detects a small screen will help your users navigate the site quickly. For example, if your website contains user account sign-up forms, make sure they auto-format as much of the text as possible so that your users don’t have to waste time moving the cursor and switching between letters and symbols on the keyboard. Set autocapitalize to “words” in the input form definition so that each word of the user’s name is automatically capitalized, and use the “email” input type for email addresses to automatically insert the @ symbol.

Adjusting the Size of Window Elements

In general, defining HTML elements using percentages rather than pixels will allow them to resize elegantly to fit the screen. If all your window elements are set to fill up a certain percentage of their parents, then your main task is to do away with distracting information and unnecessary visual elements.

If you would rather just use a pre-made solution for your mobile visitors, you can sign up for a service such as Mobify, Mofuse or MobiSiteGalore. The monthly expense of maintaining a mobile website is money well spent, compared to not having a mobile-friendly site. In 2014, there were already more than one billion people accessing the Internet from mobile devices, and the demand for this platform continues to grow.

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Effective Web design is just as important as well-researched marketing, and mobile websites are becoming more and more of a necessity. Whether or not you have programming skills, you can take the few simple steps to make a website mobile friendly.