What would happen if someone visits your website via mobile and your website looks terrible and messy? They will leave your site immediately and will have a negative impact on your website for sure. It is because of a non-responsive website design. You definitely don’t want to lose your visitor right? And we all know surfing the internet with a mobile device is the norm nowadays. So it is a must to have a mobile-friendly or responsive website design.
Responsiveness or mobile-friendly web design is a crucial and integral part of any website that runs. For beginners/freshers or newbies it might be a new term and have a curiosity to know about responsive web design. This article will try to figure out every single detail about responsiveness, mobile-friendly design, and also tips, and tricks to build a mobile-friendly website.
What is mobile responsive web design?
Well, responsive web design means the design and layout that looks perfect on all kinds of devices from small to big. Mobile and other gadgets that are small in size are portable so clients and users browse various websites for their own specific purpose.
In the past, web developers used to design websites with a fixed width for desktops. But then people started using new devices with lots of different screen sizes. Currently, it has been vital to create web pages that render well across a variety of devices and screen sizes.
When any website doesn’t respond properly to the screen sizes they are using means that the website is not responsive. Generally, mobile-friendly or responsive web design means the process/practice of automatically adjusting and adapting to any device screen size, whether it is a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone.
Responsive web design became more important as users of mobile devices enlarge the majority of website visitors. As the user switches from their laptop to an iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate resolution, image size, and scripting abilities. Responsive web design makes different content sections on your website automatically re-arranged into a vertical column again to make viewing much more pleasant. That is what mobile responsive web design is.
Why do you need a mobile-friendly website?
There are a variety of reasons and importance of mobile-friendly web designs. That is why you should give priority to adding responsiveness to your website. Browsing websites through mobile/ small devices is easy and flexible. As people use it while traveling, running, sleeping, during daily chores and anytime they like. Let’s have a look at its benefits and importance.
More mobile traffic
With the advancement in technology, nowadays everything is possible with mobile. The number of people using mobile is very high in number. They search from their preferred device when needed so a website needs to be responsive to all devices. The reality is that a significant portion of web traffic comes from mobile devices so it grows traffic to your website and creates endless possibilities for business growth.
Google started considering mobile responsiveness as a crucial ranking factor. Today, it’s almost impossible for a non-responsive website to be at the top of SERPs. If you go to Google right now and type in any search query that comes to mind, the top 10 results are almost always guaranteed to be mobile-responsive websites. Thus, a mobile-friendly website ranks your website at the top improving your SEO.
Improves usability/lower bounce rate
Yes, responsiveness improves usability. Without any complication or hindrance users can easily get access to what they are searching for from whatever devices they are using with distinct screen resolutions, orientations, or platforms. Easy and fun to use increases the chances of audiences coming back to your website. A responsive and optimized mobile site provides a much better user experience for the visitor. Therefore, it is much more likely that they’ll stick around for a longer period of time and explore different areas of your site.
Reach wider audiences
Anyone, anytime, from any device can search and reach you If you have a responsive website. This lets us reach wider audiences because there will be no screen resolution and platform difficulties. Everyone of various age groups has their gadgets in their hand spending maximum time on their devices for various purposes. Mobile-friendly websites are easy to reach so the audiences increase higher. Reaching wider audiences means better branding.
Reduce cost and maintenance
Responsive design’s “one size fits all” approach means less headaches for developers, business owners, and consumers. The process of responsive design uses standardized testing methodologies to ensure optimal layout on every screen.
Making one responsive website takes considerably less time than making a stand-alone mobile application in addition to a standard desktop website. Since time is money, responsive design naturally costs less than the alternative.
How to make your website mobile-friendly?
Mobile responsive or mobile-friendly means displaying a different ‘version’ of your website to visitors viewing your site from mobile, in order to give them a better experience. You can go through the following steps to make your website mobile-friendly.
Choose a mobile responsive theme or template
Choosing the mobile responsive theme or template is the prominent and first task one should do. Every top website builder like WordPress, Wix, and BigCommerce has covered each of its templates with a mobile responsive design. Whatever platform you are using make sure the theme you choose to build your site from is mobile-responsive. You don’t have to worry about making your website responsive because a responsive theme has been designed to scale, depending on the device used to access it. This will save time and stress when it comes to optimizing the entire website for mobile.
Optimize media files/ CSS
Whether that’s a CSS file, a video an image that has a file size, or code that needs to be loaded each time the website is clicked on. High-resolution images/videos take time to load on small-screen devices. So make sure that the images/videos you upload on the website are as light as possible. Compress or optimize the sizes of media without compromising the quality. Further, you can hide large images from mobile sites via media queries or load smaller versions of them. There are plugins and add-ons you can use to optimize media files.
Don’t use flash
Optimize forms and input field
If you have made your site mobile friendly then your audiences should be able to fill out forms to contact you from their smartphones. To make your site mobile optimized you should work out on reducing the number of fields, and utilize input masks and auto-fill options to help speed up the processes. Make sure every form you’re displaying on mobile is only asking for information that’s absolutely essential. Make sure that call-to-action buttons are large and visible so that people don’t have to use a stylus to press them.
Update your content
It’s crucial to craft and update your website’s mobile content with a pinpointed approach. Make sure that the content is readable on mobile screens and well-oriented. Try to shorten the sentences and save your readers the stress by switching it off.
Pop-ups can work really well on a desktop version of a site but when it comes to mobile, pop-ups are best avoided. People do not like popups in general, but having one on mobile sites just adds additional load on your site as it lowers the changes of mobile conversion. Developers and designers must ensure that if they have to display ads, they do so in a subtle manner. You can use some techniques for subtle pop-up implementation. Implement the pop-up only when the reader scrolls down 70% – 80% of the web page, match the pop-up design with a mobile-optimized design, and design CTA buttons on the pop-up to be clear and actionable.
Optimize mobile speed
Test always on mobile devices
Testing on real devices enables the detection and resolution of any issues that a user may face in real user conditions. Testing is easy. You can test by opening the website on your device to see the mobile version of it. Moreover, Google offers a mobile-friendly testing tool to test how mobile-friendly any given URL is – whether that’s a homepage or a page within your site.
Difference between mobile-friendly and Responsive design
However, you may have doubts about how they differ, given that they’re often used interchangeably, sometimes even causing confusion among web developers. We are living in a mobile-first world you should always take its mobile version into account prioritizing your mobile users when building your desired site.
Mobile Friendly: A mobile-friendly site is loosely adapted to a mobile device. Mobile-friendly websites are in fact shrunken-down versions of what you would see on the desktop screen. Mobile-friendly design is also known as dynamic display which allows mobile users to view, browse, and use the site. There’s no actual change in the elements, functionality, and layout, except the scale of the webpage. However, some features like drop-down menus, videos, or pop-up forms, may suffer limitations when appearing on a device with a smaller screen.
Responsive Design: Responsive design is considered to be the top mobile website option. When it comes to responsive design, this adds the feature of adapting to any device and screen size, for both desktop and mobile devices. Instead of shrinking everything down, clickable items are enlarged, and pictures are reproduced, resized, and reformatted. Because of its adaptive nature, responsive design can be tricky to implement.
Note: If your customer visits your website on their desktop and your budget is limited, a mobile-friendly design will be enough. Whereas an e-commerce platform is more likely to be used on mobile devices that is why you should definitely invest in a mobile-optimized or responsive site. A significant portion of web traffic comes from mobile devices, so optimized or responsive designs are worth considering no matter the context.
These days people are now accessing the web through virtual reality headsets, and smartphones have enabled the creation of entirely new types of applications. So with the flow of time, inventions, and technology make your website with mobile responsive design. Follow the several points mentioned earlier to make your website mobile friendly as it is the most important part of a website these days which increases conversions and sales at a time.
If you are just a beginner and want to learn all the basics of website creation, go through the following articles.
All these articles will give a basic foundation for beginners like you and level up your knowledge and understanding.