mobile friendly test

You want your website to work for everyone, no matter who visits and what device they are using.

Yet the device that visitors use can be anything from small mobile screen to an enormous digital TV. It can be a mobile phone, a tablet, a phablet, a laptop, a desktop computer or TV. It can be a variety of different brands, with different operating systems old or new and all at a great range of screen sizes. There are literally thousands of different combinations of ways people can view your website.

What actually happens when someone (like a potential client) can’t view all or parts of your website? Do you think they persist in zooming in or adjusting your site? Nope. Will they try another device? Nope.

What happens if they can’t read your website, or they can’t easily navigate around your website, or they can’t click the buttons easily is…they’re gone faster than internet orders for a new Apple device.

You may have exactly what they want to solve their problem, but alas if they can’t easily find it they will go to the next business. The exception is if someone really, really wants to see your website and no other website will do.

So how can you and your web developer make your website work for all of these combinations?

To adjust your website and its components for every combination of device is near impossible. And the cost of the hours of web development to individually program and check each one would be phenomenal. It is just not practical.

Let’s look at this from another angle. What if your website was developed and designed so it knows what device the visitor is using? And what if all of your content is added using a few simple rules that would ensure each visitor can view your website in a way that works for them? And they enjoy the experience! Wouldn’t that be nice!

I said to myself when I started to write this article that I wouldn’t mention web standards and usability so I’m not going to ­čśë

But really, with an some understanding of good web design and using simple rules when maintaining and updating your website, you can have a website that works for everyone…easily! The first thing to do this Google test┬áto see if your website is mobile friendly. With recent changes at Google, they are penalising non-mobile friendly sites.

Your website should be responsive and if your are building a new website ensure it uses a responsive theme. Responsive web design knows the device that your website visitor is using and responds accordingly. It will display your website differently in a mobile versus a desktop computer e.g. using one column in mobile and two columns on the desktop.

There is an option to develop different web pages for mobile and desktop versions of your website. Your website would use Dynamic Serving where your website’s server responds with different HTML (and CSS) on the same URL depending on the user’s device. Ensure that the links are working correctly. This option is not recommended for small sites – using a responsive website is adequate.

Ensure your robots.txt file is not blocking Googlebot from loading some of the page’s resources like its JavaScript, CSS and image files. This is important so that your site is fully visible to Google and so that it can index your content and get you in front of people searching for you.┬á(The Google mobile-friendly test will tell you if this is happening).

Ongoing, by optimising and reducing the size of images your website will open faster and is likely to be viewable in most, if not all devices.

Ensure your content and navigation is clear and descriptive.

Test that your website is viewable in many different browsers and devices by using an online tester such as BrowserStack.

Make sure your video plays on all devices by embedding using the popular video services like YouTube or Vimeo.  Consider having a transcript of main videos available.

We develop websites that are mobile friendly and with responsive design and give our clients ongoing support in maintaining and managing their websites. Let’s know if we can help you with your website development.

By having good web development and using some simple guidelines, you can ensure your website visitors can see, hear and experience your website as you meant it to be.

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