4 Things to Take into Account While Optimizing Your Websites for Mobile Users
In 2011, the International Data Corporation predicted that by 2015 mobile growth trends would outstrip PCs and laptops, making mobile devices the preferred method for accessing the Internet. That prediction was spot-on. The mobile web, or the practice of accessing the web with mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, has already exploded. According to the Pew Foundation, 83 percent of American adults have cell phones and of those, 42 percent have smart phones. The report goes on to say that smart phones are favored by those who are affluent, well-educated, African American or Latino, as well as those under the age of 45. With a demographic range that practically includes the entire US population, every business with a website would be wise to make sure it is mobile-friendly. This article discusses four priority considerations for optimizing websites for mobile users .
Consider the Need for Speed
A survey published by Pew Internet’s website reports that 77 percent of consumers who use their cell phones to access the Internet complained about slow download speeds occurring one or more times per week. Slow download speeds favor shopper frustration and abandoned shopping carts. According to Hubspot, 74 percent of smartphone users said that being mobile-friendly increases their chances of returning to a site. So, one of the first considerations a business has to make when optimizing a website for mobile devices is to examine site parameters that affect download speeds, such as the size of files and number of pages on websites.
Check File Sizes
Mobile devices have limited memory, which means that large files requiring lots of memory download slowly. The file size of a web page is determined by the number of words, the number and size of pictures and videos, and other design elements on the web page. Use of flash technology is notorious for slowing download times. Pages that are cluttered or poorly designed take longer to download. All of these factors can be modified to make a site download quickly.
Proactively Design to Speed-Up Downloads
Reducing the resolution of pictures to 72 dpi and compressing videos can go a long way towards reducing file sizes. According to Reworkengine.com, the following steps will also help to optimize sites for mobile devices, speedup download times, and give sites a more favorable appearance on mobile devices:
Make optimal use of white space.
Keep sentences and paragraphs sweet and brief.
Keep the number of pages on your site to a minimum.
Keep the number of text entry boxes to a minimum.
Use Emulators to See How Sites Look
iPad Peek is a free web based service that shows how sites look on the iPad. WordPress and Drupal mobile plug-ins are also available to help optimize blogs and websites for mobile use.