Book a Call

Mobile friendly designs

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

“Mobile-friendly”, “mobile-first” … these buzzwords are used all the time. But what do they mean? And does it matter? And do you need to do anything? and is your website mobile-friendly?

With the increasing number of smartphone users worldwide, businesses must ensure their websites are optimised for mobile devices to provide a seamless user experience. This article will guide you through determining whether a website is optimised for mobile use.

But what does “Mobile-Friendly” mean?

Before we get stuck into determining if a website is mobile-friendly, let’s first understand what it means. A mobile-friendly website refers to a site designed and developed to display correctly on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets. The layout, images, text, buttons, and other elements automatically adjust to fit the device’s screen size without requiring the user to zoom in or scroll horizontally.

… And What Does “Mobile-First” Mean?

“Mobile-first” is a design approach that prioritises creating content and user interfaces for mobile devices before adapting to larger screens.

Focused on ensuring a positive user experience on smaller screens, this strategy involves streamlining navigation, optimizing content, and fast loading. Traditionally, web design began with desktop versions, but the prevalence of mobile devices has made a mobile-first mindset strategic. This approach, often linked to responsive web design, ensures consistent and user-friendly experiences across devices.

Since most designers and developers work on large screens, in practice, mobile-first tends to mean checking a design in parallel at all stages of building.

Why Is Having A Mobile-Friendly Website Important?

Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for several reasons.

Firstly, in most markets, mobile users far outnumber users on desktop devices. As a result, Google prioritises mobile-friendly sites in its search results. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile use, it is likely to rank lower in search results, affecting your visibility and potential traffic. Even

Secondly, user experience is paramount. If visitors find navigating your site on their smartphones or tablets difficult due to poor optimisation, they will likely leave and never return. You will lose potential customers and sales.

Lastly, with the rise in smartphone usage globally, more people are accessing the internet via their phones than desktops or laptops. Therefore, not having a mobile-friendly site means missing out on reaching this vast audience.

Note – many business-to-business services do not have a majority of mobile users. But to achieve good Google rankings your website must be mobile friendly. Look for a team that can provide you with a genuinely responsive design.

Is your website mobile-friendly? A responsive design should work at all screen sizes.

How To Check If A Website Is Mobile-Friendly

Google Tools

Google used to offer a dedicated mobile friendly test page. However this was retired in late 2023. Google now recommends you use the Google Lighthouse toolbox. However, Lighthouse is part of a larger suite of developer tools. It will give you an accurate answer and advice on how to improve your site’s performance but it is complicated. A typical user may find it off-putting.

Manual Testing

Another way to check if a website is mobile-friendly is by manually testing it on various devices. Open the website on different smartphones and tablets and see how it displays. Check if the text is readable without zooming in, if images load correctly, and if links and buttons are easily clickable. Also, ensure that the site loads quickly, as slow loading times can frustrate users and make them leave.

Use Mobile Emulators

Mobile emulators allow you to simulate how a website looks and functions on various mobile devices without needing the actual devices. They are handy for testing websites on devices you cannot access.

We use Browserstack – it’s a professional test tool suite. It’s not cheap but rather than an emulator, it will run your site on any number of a huge range of devices and display the results on screen. It’s more accurate than an emulator but, again, it’s pricey.

Check Website Analytics

If you can access the website’s analytics, check the bounce rate for mobile users. A high bounce rate could indicate that users are leaving quickly due to poor mobile optimisation

Improving Your Mobile Friendly Website

If your website isn’t as mobile-friendly as it should be, don’t worry; there are several steps you can take to improve it:

  • Responsive Design: Ensure your website uses responsive design, automatically adjusting its layout based on the device’s screen size.
  • Simplify Navigation: Make sure your site’s navigation is simple and intuitive for mobile users.
  • Optimise Images: Large images can slow your site’s load time. Optimise them for faster loading.
  • Use Large Buttons: Small buttons can be difficult for users with larger fingers to click. Use large, easily clickable buttons.
  • Avoid Flash: Many mobile devices don’t support Flash. Use HTML5 or JavaScript instead.

And don’t forget to review your site often. Google changes its parameters for ranking mobile friendliness all the time.

A mobile-friendly website is crucial in today’s digital world, where more people access the internet via their smartphones than desktops or laptops. If your site isn’t mobile-friendy, Little Fire Digital can help you get over this critical hurdle.