Having a mobile-friendly website in 2023 is more important than ever. Google first advised web designers to follow ‘mobile first design principles’ back in 2010 after research showed that people are more likley to make first contact with a website on a mobile device than a desktop computer. Google now uses the mobile version of your website to rank for search engine placement, so having a non mobile-friendly website will most definitely have a negative effect on your SEO.
First impressions count, and if you want your business website to be an efficient selling tool and reach maximum audiences, ensuring that it is mobile friendly should be your number one priority.
What is a Mobile Friendly Website?
A mobile-friendly website uses responsive website design to ensure all content is easily accessible across all sizes of mobile and desktop devices.
If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, it means it’s difficult to view or use on a mobile device (i.e. smartphone or tablet.) All website content needs to be accessible, easy to read and functional on mobile in order to be classed as mobile-friendly.
How Can I Tell if My Website is Mobile Friendly?
There are many ways to check to see if your website is mobile-friendly. Firstly, get out your own mobile phone and check the content works in the way you think it should. Check to see if the content appears cut off at either side of the screen or if the navigation is hard to use or shrinks. If you need to scroll left or right to see the whole content of the page then chances are it is not ‘mobile-friendly. There are also further, more detailed ways to check:
Take the Google Mobile Friendly Test
The easiest way to tell if your website is classed as mobile-friendly is to use Google’s own mobile-friendly test. Follow this link and enter the URL of your website for a detailed report of any issues. You will see a screenshot of your website along with any issues such as text being too small to read, clickable elements being too close together or whether the page is unable to resize to the correct screen width (‘viewport’).
Use The Re-sizing Option on Your Browser
You can also use your desktop browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox to test if your website is mobile-friendly. Open your website, then minimise the browser window so it’s not full screen. Use the mouse to grab a bottom corner of the window, then drag the window to shrink it manually. As you do this, the design of your website should ‘respond’ to the different widths, and you should see the content resizing nicely to fit. If this doesn’t happen and the content gets cut off, meaning you need to scroll, then it is likely that your website is not mobile-friendly.
Use Chrome DevTool
A slightly more advanced but detailed option is to use Chrome DevTools to check if your website is mobile-friendly. Open your website in Chrome, then right (or option) click anywhere on the page and head to the ‘Inspect’ menu item. By clicking on ‘Toggle Devise Toolbar’ using the small icon in the top menu bar, you have the option to see exactly how your website renders on a huge variety of different mobile devices.
Check your website in Google PageSpeed Insights
Another handy tool from Google, with Google PageSpeed Insights you can use the rendered screenshot of your website to check whether any content gets cut off on mobile. Either way, whether your website is mobile-friendly or not, your website must be running as fast as it can. By checking your website speed with Google PageSpeed Insights, you’ll receive detailed data about the performance of your website and useful tips on how to improve it. A good web designer will be able to help you run through these actionable points and improve the speed of your website.
What Should I do if my website isn’t Mobile Friendly?
If you have run any of the tests above and found out that your website isn’t mobile-friendly, well, don’t panic! Although you need to address it as soon as you can, it may not be as scary as you think. Focus Web Studio have built hundreds of responsive, mobile-friendly websites for happy customers in Swindon, Wiltshire, and surrounding areas. Please get in touch with us to find out how we can help turn your website into a fully functional, mobile-friendly, and effective marketing or selling tool for your business.
Focus Web Design’s Tips To Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly:
- Use responsive design to ensure all content is accessible access all devices.
- Check the user journey is just as easy on mobile (if not easier) than it is on desktop.
- Test your website across as many different devices as you can.
- Compress all assets to ensure high download speeds on mobile networks.
- Avoid plugins such as Flash, which aren’t compatible with mobile.
Try not to use overly large slider images that take up too much space and are intensive on load time.