Blue Utopia Blog

What makes a website mobile-friendly?

Wed, Aug 19, 2015 - 11:17 AM

For a long time, in the early phases of mobile, it was enough if your website displayed okay but required the user to zoom in, for instance, fill out a form or read longer text.  In Apirl 2015 though, Google changed the conversation about mobile, making it clear to all that it was time for companies that derived traffic from mobile to take the stet of being mobile-friendly, not just display on mobile device without breaking.   I wrote about that effort from Google and what it meant here

So if you have a website or need to put one up soon, do you really need to care and what does mobile-friendly mean?

Do you need to care?  The answer is probably yes.  At this point, pretty much everyone who generates website traffic gets at least a reasonable part of their traffic from mobile.  Some more and some less but even those that are not very mobile-centric are still probably getting enough traffic to matter.  We wrote about mobile traffic here

The next question is what does mobile-friendly mean?   For this, there is a list of things that are required.  Not every item is required to be considered mobile-friendly but the more you have the better your site will display and perform.    

REQUIRED:

  • You do note require users to zoom to see parts of the page.
  • You don't need to use software like Flash to see it.
  • Places links far enough apart. 

OPTIONAL BUT IMPORTANT FOR THE USER EXPEREINCE:

  • Quick to load.  Not just images but all of your css and javascript files.  This usually requires compression of your files.
  • No large images.  For instance, the sliders (carousels) that have been used on homepages in recent years are still ok but there are changes to the approach.  Instead of an image with text, they need to be an image with text overlay.  That way, the text still displays on mobile instead of sizing down in proportion with the image.    

Is your site mobile friendly?  You can test it here:  https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

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