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How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website (2021 Guide)

Let’s face it, if you want to make your website accessible to the widest audience possible then you’re going to have to know how to make a mobile website.

With over 51% of all website visitors coming from mobiles, you need to make sure that your website looks great on any screen size.

Thankfully, mobile web design is nowhere near as difficult as it used to be.

In this step by step guide, we are going to show all the steps you need to know how to design a mobile website.

By using website templates that are backed up by responsive web design, we will make it easy for your personal website or online store to grow.

Step 1: Choose a responsive template

Let’s take a moment to think about some popular websites. Sites like Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon are all high-quality websites that are a pleasure to interact with. Those websites are the best in their field because they have a great user experience.

While your website isn’t at that stage just yet, the best way to start increasing your website traffic is to make it easier for visitors to use your website regardless of how they got there.

To make your website mobile-friendly your best bet is to take a look at responsive website builders like Zyro.

A responsive website will adjust its overall layout to any display regardless of the smaller screen sizes common to mobile devices and tablets. This means that your landing page will look the same, load times will still be fast and your images will not be cropped.

Responsive design reacts to the viewer’s actions, meaning that if someone tilts their mobile device, all of the design elements will change accordingly. While In technical terms, a mobile-friendly site consists of adjustable design layouts and CSS queries, unlike a static website, that displays elements in one place only.

In short, using responsive design means that the mobile version of your website will work just as well as your desktop site because screen size does not matter. A modern website builder template will adapt to the resolution of every screen.

These days, internet users expect every web page to be optimized for mobile-friendliness. The statistics show that mobile and tablet traffic actually out-weighs traffic from desktop users.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about how to design websites for mobile with Zyro’s Website Builder because each and every Zyro template is specifically designed to be responsive on any mobile device.

Zyro Templates homepage

You simply need to pick a template, drag-and-drop elements to your liking, add the content of your choosing and within minutes you’ll have yourself a website with a guaranteed responsive design.

Still, there are a few tricks of the trade and if you want to make your website mobile-friendly:

  • Use large fonts – It might seem counter-intuitive since your users will experience your website on a small screen, but mobile users find it much easier to use sites when the content and buttons are displayed in a large font size. Sure, you will be able to fit less content on the screen but mobile users are more than happy to scroll. You can be sure that people will have a bad experience if they can’t read your content. So make sure the mobile version of your website is legible.

  • Lightweight coding – Mobile users are even less patient than desktop users. Most of the time, mobile visitors will load your web pages with mobile data which tends to be slower than a home internet connection. As such, your site design needs to be lightweight. Get rid of any plugin, pop up, or app integration that will slow your mobile site down unless it is totally necessary.

  • Optimized images – It should come as no surprise that large image files take a long time to load. Speed is everything to the mobile experience but the good news is that you can use a website like TinyPNG to compress images without losing any quality. This is one of the most common steps that developers take making a mobile optimized website.

  • Bold clear CTAs – Mobile commerce sales are set to reach $2.91 trillion in 2021. So, you can imagine that it isn’t just bloggers that want to build a mobile website. Consumers on eCommerce sites need calls-to-action (CTAs) to guide them through the conversion funnel. If you want to make mobile sales then the best way to do it is to make a website with obvious CTAs and buttons. Remember that the screen is small so you will have to be more considerate with your CTAs than on a desktop site.
  • No Flash – The time for Adobe’s Flash player has been and gone. In fact, Adobe is set to completely abolish it in December 2021. While there is still a little time for anyone clinging to flash games for web design, you should probably know that Apple has already removed all support for Flash from all iPhones and iPads and every other big manufacturer is likely to follow suit. This one is a bit of a no-brainer, if you’re going to build a mobile website, or any website for that matter, don’t use Flash.

  • Easy navigation – The number of mobile website templates available to any would-be designer is in the tens of thousands. Still, there are some common themes that you will notice across the board. Compared to a desktop, space on a mobile site is at a premium. But, just like desktop sites, navigation is still key. That’s why on 99% of mobile websites you will find a navigation icon (usually three horizontal bars stacked on top of each other) that will overlay a navigation menu. It is one of those mobile web design features that is ubiquitous because it makes the mobile experience that much better. In a few quick steps, people can search results in a search bar, find an email address or phone numbers on a contact us page, or navigate to whichever part of the mobile website they need without all these options taking up all of the screen all of the time.

Step 2: Optimize your site’s speed

To create a mobile website that users are going to love, you need to make it fast.

A common theme that crops up when people want to create a mobile site is that pages don’t load fast enough. It shouldn’t be news to you that having a slow website is bad for SEO, but it might surprise you to know that slow loading times are the number one cause of abandonments on a website, mobile or not.

If it takes too much time for your website pages to load, you will not harm your site’s SEO, but you’ll lose traffic as well (especially from first-time users)

In fact, making your website mobile friendly is actually a big boost to your SEO due to a new process in the Google SEO algorithm called “mobile-first indexing.” Essentially, Google is saying that they are more likely to support you in terms of SEO and search engine rankings if you make your website mobile-friendly.

Even though Google rarely name their SEO ranking factors explicitly, SEO experts are noticing this more and more in 2021.

Studies show that it takes only three seconds for someone to decide whether they want to stay on your website or not.

Why waste time on something that takes too long to load on your mobile device, when you can find the same information elsewhere?

In order for your site to comply with the rules of mobile-friendly web design, there are a few things you can do:

  • Preparation is key – Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a practice of trying to make your website more friendly towards online search engines, such as Google. For Google, responsive websites rank higher. So, a factor that heavily influences SEO is how well your website is functioning on mobile. Alongside Zyro’s excellent web hosting services, you’ll receive a choice of designer-made templates, which are specifically built for great SEO high performance.

  • Back to basics – Avoiding flashy and complicated design choices or data-heavy content will massively impact your mobile loading speed. Take into consideration what you’re really aiming for with your website and try to keep it lightweight.

  • Leverage browser cache – You can specify how long your browser should store different images, CSS or JavaScript elements on your computer. This allows web browsers to download less information, greatly impacting your website speed.

Using any third-party software or addons, especially if it’s not designed to be used with mobile devices, adds further weight to your website mobile loading times.

To name an example, think about the Adobe Flash Player, that we just mentioned which was designed specifically for desktop and not for mobile.

Step 3: Create clear navigation

Website speed is one thing, but making your viewers frustrated at navigating your website is just as annoying and damaging to your overall first impression.

Well designed websites allow users to seamlessly move from one page to another, without confusing someone which page is which. Even if they’re on a mobile device.

If you’re building a business website, your primary goal is to provide your customers with information about your products or services or even the terms of service. This information should be presented clearly and be easy to find.

Mobile screens are smaller and therefore any unnecessary elements are just an unwanted hurdle that your visitors have to overcome in order to access your content.

Nobody wants a situation where they can’t find information easily. They will simply leave your website to not waste time.

Have everything set up as conveniently as possible, don’t leave your elements scattered all around your page.

If your website contains a considerable amount of content, add a search function for easier access.

Your call-to-action elements should be clearly visible. Choose a font for your website that is easily readable and make sure your menu is uncluttered with unnecessary content.

Having well-designed navigation is essential in website design. Consider what your website needs instead of trying too hard to impress your visitors.

Step 4: Remove unnecessary pop-ups

We all want our users to pay attention to the message we’re trying to get across. If you’re running a business, that is an important fact if you want the enterprise to flourish.

However, some companies go way and beyond trying to tell their customers what to do and where to look at. This comes in forms as pop-ups and it can be really irritating.

Pop-ups are small windows that appear somewhere on the page once a viewer has accessed a certain section of your website. They are particularly annoying on a mobile device.

They aim to focus your customer’s attention to a single message, such as subscribing to a newsletter or taking the opportunity to make use of a certain discount.

Pop-ups work wonders at what they’re trying to do – boost a site conversion rate. Nevertheless, you may easily go overboard, and it could make your website look like a spam-infested marketing trick.

It ruins the overall UX, especially on mobile devices, where the field of view is limited.

So, while pop-ups are an important element of website marketing strategies, use them sparingly.

Step 5: Test your site regularly

You can’t know if you have a mobile responsive website without doing some testing.

Web design is not always an easy feat, so make sure that all of your hard work has paid off before letting your website loose on the web.

Mobile devices change every year, with new design choices. Therefore website design trends and concepts change as well.

Checking regularly whether your website meets current standards is a must. It ensures that your site includes everything that a modern mobile website needs.

There are a few ways to do this and a reliable methods is to use a tool such as Google mobile friendly test tool.

Simply enter your website’s URL and it will run a few tests to see how your site holds up on mobile.

Google Mobile Friendly test homepage

If issues are found, it will list them one by one. This might include letting you know that your website is using incomplete plugins or that the content is too small to read on a mobile screen.

It delivers results within seconds and tells you exactly what can be improved.

Google also offers PageSpeed Insights – a tool designed to provide diagnostics for your overall webpage performance.

If your website includes too many CSS or JS elements, for example, you’ll be given a detailed analysis of these queries.

There are other tools to test site performance, one of them being GTmetrix – a popular solution for measuring websites.

Just like Google PageSpeed Insights, it provides suggestions on what can be improved in order to make your site run faster.

GTmetrix homepage

You may compare your results with other similar pages or download a PDF file of your results.

Performing these tests is important as they allow you to identify what needs to be improved. You can also learn more about what makes a mobile-friendly website in the first place.

What is a mobile-friendly website?

Making your site mobile friendly ensures that it will look and perform well no matter what type of device or screen you viewers use.

Since the majority of people use mobile devices for browsing the internet, it is very important that your website is optimized for any given scenario.

Having a mobile-friendly site is not only important for mobile users but for your business growth as well.

If it functions well, it is easily navigable and performs well in regards to user-experience –there’s almost a guarantee that all of this effort will increase your overall traffic as well.

You want people to consume and enjoy your content without any obstacles clouding their experience.

Mobile-friendly websites are favored by Google and other search engines, and this is important if you want your site to flourish.

It’s important to remember that it doesn’t mean that a desktop version of your site will suffer because of that focus.

It simply means that usually, when it comes to web design, desktop-friendly websites are rarely mobile-friendly, instead of the other way around.

Why have a mobile-friendly website?

More to the point, why not?

Most website builders offer themes that are tailor-made for mobile. Other website builders, such as Zyro, guarantee that every theme is mobile friendly.

Your content will be consumed primarily by your customers, so it’s no understatement that your mobile visitors should be the most important focus of your online business.

Investing in a mobile-friendly site ensures that those customers will be more interested in what you have to offer.

Furthermore, 57% of users will not recommend a business or company if their site is performing poorly on mobile devices.

This should reinforce the fact of how important having a mobile site for your business really is.

We carry our devices almost everywhere. So it’s no surprise that if someone needs to quickly find dinner recipes while shopping or closest gas station, they will use their phones.

We know that the idea of designing mobile-friendly websites for your own project can be an overwhelming undertaking.

Luckily, using Zyro Website Builder is a much simpler and quicker solution to that problem.

Every aspect of mobile design in this article is addressed by the website builder. You can spend more time over your content, and not worry about technicalities.

It’s a free-to-use service that helps you create a business site within minutes.

Written by

Author avatar

Martina

Martina is an expert in writing about website building and eCommerce, but her real passion is helping others grow their small business online. From solid branding to punchy marketing strategies, you can count on her for the best growth tricks. In her spare time, Martina loves nothing more than a good scoop of ice-cream and a sweaty match of tennis.

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