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How To Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly: Top 10 Best Practices And Design Tips

By Jim Traister
Table of Contents
many people utilizing mobile phones with mobile websites displayed

In today’s world, everyone uses their phone to browse the web. A key fact is that a mobile-friendly website can significantly boost your site’s traffic. This article breaks down the top 10 best practices and design tips to transform your website into a mobile user’s dream.

Key Takeaways

Why is Mobile-Friendliness Important for Your Website?

Making your website mobile-friendly boosts the experience users have when they visit. It also helps your site rank better on search engines, making it easier for more people to find you.

Improved user experience

Creating a mobile-friendly website significantly enhances the user experience. Users enjoy faster load times and easier navigation when images are compressed and website speed is optimized.

Utilizing tools like Google’s PageSpeed insight tool can be very helpful:

Google's PageSpeed Insight example

Our goal is to be above 90+% in every category on mobile when running our website through Google’s PageSpeed insight tool.

What is great about Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool is that it is free and also it gives you insight how to increase your score. So for instance, if we wanted to increase our mobile Performance Speed, Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool provides us the exact areas and elements to focus upon:

Higher performance scores can lead to longer visits and more engagement on the site. A responsive layout ensures that no matter the device, be it smartphones, tablets, or laptops, your web pages look great and function flawlessly.

Choosing large, readable fonts and a minimalist design further improves readability and usability on small screens. By avoiding intrusive pop-ups and spacing out links, users can easily interact with your content without frustration.

We recently introduced pop-ups on the left side of our blogs so they were not intrusive and possibly this is something you might consider:

Another tactic you might want to consider is a top banner that is not intrusive, as in the example below:

Example of using a non-intrusive top banner.

Implementing these changes not only satisfies visitors but also encourages them to return, creating a positive loop of continuous engagement and satisfaction.

Higher search engine rankings

Having a mobile-friendly website boosts your position in search engine results. Search engines like Google prioritize websites that provide a great user experience on mobile devices.

This means the more mobile-friendly your site is, the higher it may appear in google searches. Implementing responsive design and optimizing website speed are key practices for climbing up the search rankings.

By ensuring your pages load quickly and display correctly on all types of devices, from desktops to smartphones, you make your site more appealing not only to users but also to search engines.

And the wonderful thing is:Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will provide you a SEO score for your mobile site that you can action upon:

Google PageSpeed Insights example of SEO performance

Compressing images and choosing HTML5 for web development contribute significantly to this improvement. Higher rankings lead to more visibility, which can increase click-throughs and ultimately convert visitors into customers or followers.

Best Practices for Making a Mobile-Friendly Website

Creating a mobile-friendly website doesn’t just boost your online presence; it directly impacts how easily users can interact with your site on their smartphones.

And again, the free PageSpeed Insight’s tool will provide you a score based on your business’s website following best practices:

Google PageSpeed Insights example of Best Practices

How can you make sure your website is mobile friendly?

Implement a responsive layout

To implement a responsive layout means your website adjusts smoothly across various screen sizes and devices. This approach uses flexible grids, images, and CSS media queries to ensure content looks great whether viewed on a phone, tablet, or desktop.

As the foundation of mobile-friendly web design, responsive layouts cater to the user’s experience by making navigation simple and viewing content comfortable without unnecessary resizing or scrolling.

By prioritizing a responsive layout from the start, you lay down a solid base for all other mobile optimization efforts. Mobile-first design strategies further enhance this by designing for smaller screens initially before scaling up to larger ones, ensuring that mobile users’ needs remain at the forefront of web development decisions.

Optimize website speed

Optimizing your website speed plays a crucial role in making it mobile-friendly. Fast-loading pages enhance the user experience, keeping visitors engaged and reducing bounce rates.

Utilize techniques like compressing images, employing lazy loading for media files, and leveraging content delivery networks (CDNs) to ensure quick load times. These steps streamline the way your site loads on mobile devices, directly impacting its performance across various platforms.

Keep scripts asynchronous to prevent them from slowing down your webpage’s visual display.

By implementing these strategies effectively, you pave the way for smoother navigation and quicker access to content, setting an ideal stage for improving overall mobile web experiences as you move onto compressing images next.

Compress images

Compressing images on your website is key to enhancing its performance on mobile devices. High-quality pictures often come with large file sizes, which can dramatically slow down page loading times.

By using tools or software to reduce the image file size without losing much quality, your pages will load faster, making the site more appealing to visitors. Choose formats like JPEGs or PNGs for a good balance between quality and file size.

Fast-loading pages keep users engaged and reduce bounce rates, contributing positively to your mobile-friendly website’s overall success.

Use large and readable font

Choosing a large and readable font size is critical for making your website mobile-friendly. Tiny text forces users to zoom in, creating a frustrating experience on small screens. A legible font ensures that visitors can easily read your content without extra effort, keeping them engaged longer.

Optimizing your mobile pages with larger fonts enhances readability and accessibility, essential components of user-friendly design. This approach caters to a wide audience, including those who may have vision impairments.

Google’s PageSpeed Inisghts tool will also provide you an accessibility score that will help you understand the steps to take to improve your mobile site’s accessibility score:

Google PageSpeed Insights example of Accessibility score

Keep the experience seamless across various devices by selecting fonts that scale well in landscape mode or when viewed on tablets like iPads.

Test regularly on mobile devices

Testing your website on mobile devices is crucial to ensure it functions well across various screen sizes and browsers. Use tools like DevTools in Chrome to simulate different mobile environments.

This helps identify any layout issues or glitches that might not be visible on a desktop. Regular testing allows you to catch and fix problems early, ensuring a smooth experience for all users.

Incorporate feedback from these tests to make necessary adjustments. Check load times, navigation ease, and the visibility of your content on smaller screens. Always aim for quick loading times and easy-to-use menus.

After optimizing based on test results, move forward by updating your content with a focus on mobile usability.

Make forms and input fields mobile-friendly

Making your forms and input fields mobile-friendly is a crucial step in crafting a website that serves mobile users efficiently. Start by ensuring all forms are easy to fill out on any device, utilizing large, clickable areas for submitting information.

This means buttons should be big enough to tap without zooming in and input fields must adjust automatically to the screen size of a device. Include features like autocomplete to speed up the typing process on smaller screens.

To further enhance user experience on mobile devices, opt for simpler form designs with fewer fields whenever possible. Minimize the need for extensive typing by leveraging dropdown menus and checkboxes.

Ensure every form provides clear instructions, so users can complete their tasks without confusion or delays. Moving forward, focus on optimizing all multimedia content for seamless display across all platforms.

Make Things New

What is required to make a website mobile friendly?

Ten Tips Checklist to help optimize your business’s mobile site:

Understand Responsive Design Principles
1
  • Familiarize yourself with the concept of responsive design, which ensures your website adjusts smoothly across various screen sizes and devices.
  • Learn about flexible grids, images, and CSS media queries, the foundational elements of responsive layouts.
Prioritize Mobile-Friendly Navigation
2
  • Ensure navigation remains simple and intuitive across all screen sizes, without the need for unnecessary resizing or scrolling.
  • Implement mobile-first design strategies to prioritize smaller screens initially before scaling up to larger ones.
Optimize Website Speed
3
  • Utilize techniques like compressing images, lazy loading for media files, and leveraging content delivery networks (CDNs) to enhance website speed.
  • Keep scripts asynchronous to prevent them from slowing down webpage display.
Compress Images
4
  • Use tools or software to reduce image file sizes without sacrificing quality, ensuring faster page loading times.
  • Choose appropriate formats like JPEGs or PNGs for a good balance between quality and file size.
Use Large and Readable Fonts
5
  • Select large and readable font sizes to enhance readability and accessibility, especially on smaller screens.
  • Ensure fonts scale well in landscape mode or when viewed on tablets like iPads.
Regular Testing on Mobile Devices
6
  • Test your website on various mobile devices and browsers using tools like DevTools in Chrome to simulate different environments.
  • Identify and fix layout issues or glitches early to ensure a smooth user experience.
Make Forms and Input Fields Mobile-Friendly
7
  • Ensure all forms are easy to fill out on any device with large, clickable areas for submitting information.
  • Opt for simpler form designs with fewer fields whenever possible to enhance user experience on mobile devices.
Include Autocomplete and Clear Instructions
8
  • Incorporate features like autocomplete to speed up the typing process on smaller screens.
  • Provide clear instructions for completing forms to minimize user confusion or delays.
Optimize Multimedia Content
9
  • Ensure all multimedia content is optimized for seamless display across all platforms, including mobile devices.
Continuously Update and Improve
10
  • Regularly update and improve your website based on user feedback and testing results to maintain optimal performance and user experience across all devices.

Conclusion

Creating a mobile-friendly website is crucial in today’s world. By following the top practices and design tips, you ensure your site caters to every user on any device. Implementing a responsive layout and optimizing for speed enhances user experience.

Remember, a mobile-first approach not only boosts your search engine rankings but also opens up vast opportunities for online growth and accessibility. Engage users effectively by making your website easy to navigate and enjoy on their smartphones.

Picture of Jim Traister
Jim Traister

Founder & CEO

Jim is the CEO and founder of MakeThingsNew, a digital marketing agency he launched to provide services such as affordable website design, website maintenance, web hosting, email marketing, and ongoing SEO for his client’s projects. He earned a Master of Business with a specialization in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix. Jim launched his first digital marketing agency in 2012 and has since dedicated himself to serving independent business owners. Additionally, he has taught at the college and university level for several years, teaching courses such as Information Technology in Hospitality and Tourism, Marketing, and more. Prior to opening his first marketing agency in 2012, Jim had accumulated over sixteen years of business experience.

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

Having a mobile-friendly website means that your site is optimized to be easily accessible and usable on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Making a website mobile-friendly is crucial in today’s digital age as a large portion of internet users access websites via mobile devices. It can significantly improve user experience and engagement.
Responsive web design is an approach that allows a website to adapt and display correctly on different devices and screen sizes. It is essential for mobile websites to ensure proper functionality and user experience across various devices.
You can optimize your website for mobile users by using a responsive design, optimizing images and videos for mobile viewing, making navigation simple and intuitive, and ensuring fast loading times.
The viewport meta tag allows web developers to control how a webpage is displayed on different devices by setting the viewport’s width and initial scale. It plays a crucial role in creating a responsive design for mobile users.
To make your website easy to read on mobile devices, you can use legible fonts, maintain proper font sizes, ensure proper spacing between elements, and avoid cluttered layouts.
To improve website speed on mobile devices, you can optimize images, leverage browser caching, minify CSS and JavaScript, reduce server response time, and use content delivery networks (CDNs).
Website owners should prioritize creating a mobile-friendly version of their site to cater to the increasing number of mobile users and provide a seamless browsing experience, which can lead to higher traffic and conversions.
CSS media queries allow developers to apply different styles based on various device characteristics such as screen width, orientation, and resolution. They are instrumental in creating responsive designs that adapt to different screen sizes.
Having a mobile-friendly website means your site works well on mobile devices, with easy navigation and fast loading times for users browsing the internet on their phones.
You should design your website with a mobile-first approach because most people now use their phones to surf the internet, improving search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience.
To make sure your site is good for mobile browsers, use responsive design techniques like correct image formats, readable font sizes, and icons that are easy to click on small screens.
Consider using server-side technologies that can redirect users to the appropriate version of your site, optimizing img tags and HTML elements for faster loading times on smartphones.
Yes! A mobile-friendly site can significantly improve online advertising efforts as it attracts more visitors via social media marketing and ensures ads display correctly across all devices.
Platforms like WordPress offer open-source solutions to build responsive sites easily while tools such as FreeCodeCamp give instructions on coding practices; testers and freelancers specialize in evaluating or constructing websites optimized for privacy, speed, and usability on both computers and smartphones.