Creating a Mobile-friendly Business Website

Since the turn of the century, the number of tablets and other mobile devices has sky-rocketed, making it increasingly important for business owners to make their websites compliant with devices ranging from smart phones to large flat screen televisions.

If you test your business website on multiple smart phones and tablets you’ll probably notice the need for design changes. Google’s GoMoMeter is a simple and free tool you can use right in your computer browser that allows you to input your web address to see how your business website appears on a smartphone. It also highlights areas that can be adjusted in order to improve your customers’ experience. Smartphones aren’t the only device that small business owners need to worry about, however. Janine Warner, a globally recognized digital design and internet trends consultant, mentions several ways to improve the design of your website as seen on all mobile devices in a recent Entrepreneur article titled: “How to Make Your Website More Mobile-Friendly.”

Simplify your site design: At the least, it’s recommended that your website has a simple page design, large font sizes, and large touchable buttons in order to display well on a mobile device. Putting critical information above the fold (the area you can see without having to scroll) is also a great way to make your website more mobile-friendly.

Create a mobile version of your site: An alternative to the previous suggestion, which involves simplifying your website’s current design, is to simply create a mobile version of your website. This allows you to keep your current website the way it is while also providing a more simplified mobile version of your website. There are several drawbacks to this method, however. First, if your mobile site has a second URL (such as one with a .m subdomain) search engines might not find it. There could also be additional costs that go into creating a mobile version of your website, though more free website builders are now offering mobile templates to design these for free or low cost.

Consider using a responsive design template: Going along with the last statement, many site builders such as WordPress and GoDaddy are now offering responsive designs from which to build your website. Responsive web design means that your website simply adapts and readjusts according to the dimensions of the device it’s being viewed on. The content stays the same but the layout changes – it might be in 3 columns on a desktop and 1 on a smartphone, for example. It will automatically adjust to suit the screen. Using a responsive design does have a few drawbacks, including longer load times.

Depending on your budget and your own knowledge of web design will determine which method will work best for your small business. No matter which method you choose, Janine Warner always recommends giving your audience quick and easy access to important information on your website: “Put your contact information front and center, give them links to maps and directions, and then add video or other amusements to keep them on your site for as long as they want to stay.”

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