12 Tips for Creating a Mobile-Friendly Website (2023)

According to comScore, as of December 2013, 156 million Americans owned a smartphone, a more than 3 percent increase from September 2013. And that number is expected to continue to grow. Indeed, eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2014, 1.75 billion people around the world will be regularly using a smartphone.

And those millions of smartphone users are not just using mobile devices to make calls and send emails and text messages. They are using their mobile devices to connect with their social networks, surf the Internet for news and information, shop and make purchases. So if your website or ecommerce site is not optimized for mobile traffic, you could be losing potential customers and sales.

To find out what “optimized for mobile” truly means, CIO.com asked dozens of mobile and Web design/development experts. Following are their top 12 tips for creating a mobile-friendly website.

1. Be responsive. “Use a responsive technology framework,” says Copley Broer, CEO, LandlordStation, which develops property management software. “There are several of these available (we use Bootstrap).

These frameworks are basically simple ways to lay out elements in a grid and then shift that grid based on different screen sizes, so that elements on a large monitor are spaced just as well as they would be on an iPad [or smartphone],” Broer says. “Frameworks like Bootstrap are open source (free), well documented and very easy to implement.”

“Responsive is a more unified approach to Web development that allows you to create a similar experience for the user no matter how they are accessing the site (desktop, tablet or smartphone),” adds Kevin Janosz, COO, RITTA, a marketing and advertising agency.

“In addition to being a better user experience across devices, it consolidates your website so you do not need a separate mobile URL, it has SEO benefits, and it’s also much easier to manage,” Janosz says.

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2. Think with your thumb (or index finger). “Make sure your site is completely navigable with one thumb and requires no pinching to use,” says Marc Weisinger, director of Marketing, Elite SEM, a search engine marketing firm.

“This is one of the most important tips for any mobile site as you want users to be able to navigate your site with their ‘phone hand’ without the use of a second hand. Additionally if you have to pinch to zoom, your content is probably too small or not perfectly optimized for that browsing device,” Weisinger says

“Most users visiting a mobile website will be using a touchscreen device, so ensure that the buttons and menu navigation are big enough even for fat fingers,” says Dean Hume, CTO, Hire Space, a venue booking website. “Too often a mobile friendly website will simply resize the screen using CSS (media queries) and not take into account that fingers might cause misplaced clicks.”

Similarly, “when designing for mobile interfaces, you should make your targets large enough to be easily selectable,” says Mark Rattin, executive creative director at Lyons Consulting Group. “The average index finger for most adults is 15 to 20 mm, which translates to 45 to 57 pixels. Our ‘rule of thumb’ (pun intended) is to give buttons or tap elements at least 45 pixels of space for selection areas,” he says. “This allows the targets on screen to be easily selectable and removes many of the accidental taps from the user experience.”

3. Keep the design simple. “A clean design and focused copy can go a long way,” notes Michael LaVista, founder and CEO, Caxy Interactive, an application design and development company. “Remember that you only have a few seconds to convey who you are as a company. This is true for any website design, but is particularly important when you are designing for smaller devices.”

Too many bells and whistles (i.e., graphics, copy, video) can hamper the site’s ability to load quickly — and distract from your message. If you plan on using images, “try and serve images that are smaller in byte size as this will reduce the amount of time that users spend waiting for the page to load,” advises Hume.

4. Keep content short and sweet. “People sometimes fall in love with their [website] content and it makes the mobile site too cluttered,” says Broer. So “figure out how to tell your story with fewer words.”

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“Go easy on text,” advises Yaniv Masjedi, vice president of Marketing for Nextiva, a phone service provider. “The screen on a smartphone is much smaller than that on a desktop computer, so try to minimize the amount of text on your mobile website. Mobile users are interested in scrolling quickly so include only essential copy to keep the reader’s attention.”

5. Remember, an icon is worth a thousand (or, okay, a dozen) words. “To keep your site from looking cluttered, use conventional mobile [icons], rather than words for tap to call, connect socially or find the menu,” suggests James Ramsey, CEO, Fiddlefly, a digital creative agency. “Using these symbols helps viewers know that the site is optimized for mobile.”

6. Make it fast — by serving images that are optimized for mobile. “The mobile Web is considerably slower than its FiOS and cable-powered cousins,” points out Jay Melone, CEO, New Haircut, a Web design agency. “The U.S. in particular was ranked second from the bottom for our LTE speeds, with averages hovering around 6.5 Mbps,” he says.

“So be sure to strip down the heavy media files that exist on your desktop site, such as videos,” Melone says. “Use media queries to repurpose your desktop site’s retina-ready images into lower res versions. And consider replacing bulky JavaScript libraries like jQuery Mobile with standalone JavaScript.”

“Mobile device resolutions and aspect ratios are very fragmented — [ranging] from 240 x 320 to 2560 x 1440 and above,” says Itai Lahan, CEO, Cloudinary, an image management solution for Web and mobile apps.

“Also consider that mobile devices operating under a 3G network are still considerably lagging behind in download speeds and that many mobile users out there pay for bandwidth use. Factoring all of this in means that it is crucial to resize, crop and optimize images to best fit the specific device resolution and aspect ratio,” Lahan says. “This can save a huge amount of bandwidth, dramatically reducing mobile Web pages loading times while greatly improving visitors’ browsing experience.”

7. Don’t go overboard with Java. “Avoid excessive JavaScript in your mobile websites where possible, because it runs differently across different browsers and devices,” says Hume. “Even different models of the same phone can often behave quite differently when it comes to JavaScript,” he says. “This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use JavaScript, but rather be clever about it and keep in mind that it could affect the performance of your mobile-friendly site.”

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8. Make it easy to find your phone number, location and contact info. “Keep in mind the context in which your site will be used on mobile,” says Anthony Overkamp, creative director, Engage, a full-service design and development firm.

“Often, users are looking for store hours, a contact or booking number or perhaps the business’s nearest location. The easier it is for users to access and take action on this information, the better the user’s experience,” Overkamp says.

9. Consider video, but add it wisely. “Video is an absolute must-have for any mobile site,” argues Russ Somers, vice president of marketing, Invodo, a video strategy and content provider. “That’s because consumers using mobile devices are three times as likely to watch videos than laptop/desktop computer users,” he says.

That said, “use a video technology that provides a flawless mobile experience. Your mobile video player should run HTML5 to ensure that it can play on most mobile devices,” Somers advises. “In addition, use a video player that’s lightweight (doesn’t consume valuable bandwidth and processing resources) so that you can significantly improve page loading time and provide a better overall experience.”

10. Make sure forms are designed for mobile. “Request the minimum amount of information that you need in order to contact a lead,” suggests Zubin Mowlavi, CEO, Lucid Fusion, a Web design and branding company.

“Minimize the number and size of form fields as much as possible, and leverage the technology built into mobile devices to optimize usability,” Mowlavi says. “For example, GPS is usually accessible. So don’t ask someone to enter their city, state and ZIP if you can prepopulate it instead.”

11. Consider geolocation. “Take advantage of mobile capabilities such as geolocation,” says Michael Read, founding partner and CEO, The Level, a Web design and development agency. “Businesses can use geolocation to give directions, allow visitors to check in-store availability at the nearest store location, offer targeted promotions, offer online shoppers prices in their local currency and connect to social communities such as Yelp.”

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12. Test to ensure your content can be properly viewed on different devices, platforms and operating systems. “Remember to test the mobile user experience by operating system to improve overall site experience with usability testing,” says Debbie Carkner, vice president, Ecommerce Strategy, SMITH, a digital experience agency. “Some of the mobile testing tools that are emerging include Solidifyapp, UXRecorder, POP and delight.io.”

FAQs

How do you make a website mobile friendly it should be made? ›

This brings us to the first technique to make a website mobile-friendly.
  1. Implement a Responsive Layout.
  2. Optimize Website Speed.
  3. Subtle Pop-Up Implementation.
  4. Incorporate Viewport Meta tag.
  5. Declutter your Web Design.
  6. Always Test Website on Real Mobile Devices.
  7. Update Content Carefully.
21 Jul 2022

Why is it important to have a mobile friendly website? ›

Mobile-friendly websites boost your sales and conversions because there is an ease of accessibility that surrounds this website design. Knowing that a website is mobile-friendly allows users to interact and engage with your brand across devices, without being annoyed or inconvenienced.

What type of website design is mobile friendly? ›

At its simplest, mobile friendly design means your website's information – images, texts, videos, links – is easily and readily accessible across all different platforms and, most particularly, on the much smaller screen of smartphones and tablets.

What type of design is mobile friendly? ›

Responsive web design means that the page uses the same URL and the same code whether the user is on a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone – only the display adjusts or responds according to the screen size. Google recommends using responsive web design over other design patterns.

What are the characteristics of an effective mobile site? ›

4 characteristics of mobile-friendly websites
  • Readability. A mobile-friendly website makes it easy for a visitor to read without having to pinch and zoom on the screen to access information. ...
  • Usability. ...
  • Speed. ...
  • Easy ability to navigate.

How do you know if a website is mobile-friendly? ›

Here are 3 very quick methods to check the mobile-friendliness of a website.
  1. Use a Mobile-Friendly Test. ...
  2. Use your browser to check if a site is mobile-friendly. ...
  3. Use your mobile phone to check if a site if mobile-friendly. ...
  4. Use Chrome DevTools. ...
  5. Use Google PageSpeed Insights. ...
  6. Check Mobile Usability in Google Search Console.
19 Aug 2022

What makes a website user-friendly? ›

A user-friendly website not only offers recognizable links—it uses links throughout its pages to help move visitors around to similar content. Links use descriptive anchor text (the words used in the link itself) instead of “click here.”

What is mobile website with example? ›

Mobile-friendly sites are websites with a design that adapts to whatever device you use. The typical desktop website design will adjust its elements to fit mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. For example, a regular navigation menu turns into a hamburger menu.

What is the use of mobile website? ›

Since a mobile website can be designed and developed independently of your main website, you can easily add a mobile-friendly website to supplement your existing website. People expect websites to load in a few seconds. Mobile sites, being smaller than desktop sites, have fewer files that will need to be downloaded.

How does a mobile website work? ›

How do mobile sites work? Mobile sites are specifically designed for smartphones, tablets, and other hand-held devices. These sites are made to work on small screens with quick load times and clear contact information to encourage users to contact the company as quickly as possible.

How does a mobile-friendly website help your business? ›

One of the biggest perks of having a mobile-friendly website is that it can increase your sales significantly. With many people now browsing the web via their smartphones during their downtime, you're much more likely to make a quick sale if these consumers can purchase something while using their mobile device.

How much is a mobile friendly website? ›

When building a new website, the mobile-responsive design may cost an additional 30% to 50% of the original cost of the website. A complex, mobile friendly website with eCommerce capabilities may cost between $5,000 and $25,000.

What is mobile friendly content? ›

Mobile Friendly is People Friendly

Give them responsive video content that makes sense even if their headphones are off. Make sure your images look great, display properly, and load quickly. And make sure your text is snackable, navigable, and skimmable.

What is mobile-friendly platform? ›

To make our case, let's define each one. Mobile-friendly – Websites that are mobile-friendly are typically pages that are shrunken down versions of what you would see on the desktop screen. While this allows mobile users to view, browse, and use the site, it doesn't necessarily make it easy.

Why is mobile design important? ›

Mobile-first design pushes you to make your digital products more readable on smaller screens—and therefore more accessible to people who might be hard of seeing. And when your designs help people with limited vision, they'll also help everyone else.

What is mobile-friendly application? ›

Mobile friendly refers to a site that displays accurately between your desktop/laptop computer and a mobile device. Such as phones and tablets. Thus, we will need a minimum of scrolling and image sizing. Regardless of the device, you are using, our mobile developers make sure that your app functions in the right way.

What 5 factors are important for developing a mobile device? ›

Five key important factors to consider while developing a mobile...
  • Invest in research. ...
  • Make clear objectives. ...
  • Know your target audience. ...
  • Choose the right platform. ...
  • Get the features right.

What are the five key characteristics of a good website user experience? ›

A user-friendly website must have the following 11 features.
  • Mobile Compatibility. ...
  • Accessible to All Users. ...
  • Well Planned Information Architecture. ...
  • Well-Formatted Content That Is Easy to Scan. ...
  • Fast Load Times. ...
  • Browser Consistency. ...
  • Effective Navigation. ...
  • Good Error Handling.
4 Sept 2021

What is a mobile website called? ›

Mobile-friendly sites aren't necessarily designed specifically for a mobile device. Rather, they're versions of sites that work across different devices. Think of a mobile-friendly site as mobile-optimized, whereas a responsive site is mobile-first.

What size is a mobile website? ›

For mobile screen sizes, 360 and 375 widths are considered to be the perfect match. Thus, the content is well readable and convenient for users.

What are the 5 examples of website? ›

10 of the Most Common Types of Websites
  • eCommerce website.
  • Business website.
  • Blog website.
  • Portfolio website.
  • Event website.
  • Personal website.
  • Membership website.
  • Nonprofit website.
13 Jun 2022

What are 3 purposes of a website? ›

Generally, we can categorize the purpose of most websites into 3 sections: Awareness, sales, and information.

Can we make website by mobile? ›

You can quickly build a mobile website that will give your visitors a high-quality experience whether they're visiting from a phone, tablet or desktop. You can also create a mobile website with Weebly's apps for Android and iOS devices.

How do I make my website web friendly? ›

10 Tips for Creating a User-Friendly Website
  1. Choose a Website Design That Puts the User First. ...
  2. Use Accessible Language and Tone. ...
  3. Choose Color Carefully. ...
  4. Keep It Simple. ...
  5. Use Information Chunking. ...
  6. Make Online Forms Efficient. ...
  7. Improve Your Site Layout. ...
  8. Make Your Navigation Logical.
30 Sept 2021

How can I make my website friendly? ›

How to Make Sure Your Website Is User-Friendly
  1. Optimize for mobile devices.
  2. Follow WCAG standards.
  3. Stick to common design elements.
  4. Create a visual hierarchy.
  5. Simplify the navigation.
  6. Establish credibility.
  7. Make sure your content is legible.
  8. Be consistent.

What is mobile friendly in website? ›

Mobile-Friendly Design

A mobile-friendly website is one that is designed to work the exact same way across devices. This means that nothing changes or is unusable on a computer or mobile device. Features like navigation drop-downs are limited, as they can be difficult to use on mobile.

How do I make content more mobile friendly? ›

Let's get started.
  1. Understanding how people read on a mobile device.
  2. Go for the bite, snack, and meal approach.
  3. Chunk content for easy reading.
  4. Write short titles to make them more mobile friendly.
  5. Go for short, snappy paragraphs.
  6. Use small words.
  7. Replace wordy phrases with simple words.
  8. Use images.

What are 3 things every website should have? ›

5 Things Every Website Should Include
  • Clear description of who you are.
  • Contact page.
  • Small chunks of information.
  • Easy mobile navigation.
  • Customer testimonials.
21 Oct 2020

What 3 things makes a good website? ›

7 elements of a good website
  • Your website satisfies user intent and has a clear goal. ...
  • Your website has technical prowess. ...
  • Your website is trustworthy, safe and secure. ...
  • Your website has a great design and stellar UX. ...
  • Your site has awesome, user-centered content. ...
  • Your site is mobile-friendly (or rather, designed mobile-first)
18 Nov 2021

What are 5 ways to improve website traffic? ›

Try the following approaches to learn how to increase website traffic.
  1. Optimize your content with keywords. ...
  2. Create targeted landing pages. ...
  3. Craft engaging, high-quality content. ...
  4. Use digital ads to promote your site. ...
  5. Boost your local search reputation. ...
  6. Send emails that link to your website.

What are the key features of a website? ›

  • 5 Essential Features in a Great Website. ...
  • Responsive website pages. ...
  • Page quality. ...
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. ...
  • A strong and visible call to action. ...
  • Ensuring easy navigation.

How do you know if a website is mobile friendly? ›

Here are 3 very quick methods to check the mobile-friendliness of a website.
  1. Use a Mobile-Friendly Test. ...
  2. Use your browser to check if a site is mobile-friendly. ...
  3. Use your mobile phone to check if a site if mobile-friendly. ...
  4. Use Chrome DevTools. ...
  5. Use Google PageSpeed Insights. ...
  6. Check Mobile Usability in Google Search Console.
19 Aug 2022

What do you do if your website is not mobile friendly? ›

What to do if your website is not mobile-friendly?
  1. The definitive mobile-friendly test.
  2. Option 1: Re-build the site on top of a responsive platform or WordPress theme.
  3. Option 2: Hire a developer to make your existing site responsive.
  4. Testing your site for mobile-friendliness.
  5. Beyond passing Google's mobile-friendly test.
10 Oct 2015

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