The growth of mobile browsing has been phenomenal. An astounding 77% of the world’s population now own a mobile phone, and over half a billion of these users regularly access the web via their hand-held device. Thus, ignoring this market is a huge error and can severely limit both your traffic and business success.
Unfortunately, mobile browsing can be somewhat difficult for both web developers and designers to accommodate. While some mobile devices can handle websites designed for laptop or desktop users, many cannot. One of the primary reasons for this is that many websites are designed in a way that ignores the emerging platform. The use of table and copy rich websites often result in tightly crammed webpages that simply cannot adapt to the smaller, touch screens.
Generally, there are two options; firstly, you could design a dedicated mobile site for handheld devices. Secondly, and more practically, you could design your initial site with multiple browsing platforms in mind. Nevertheless, here at Net66, we believe that a combination of both methods presents the best return. Therefore, your website ought to be designed in the knowledge that your website will be accessed across multiple platforms and you could provide an alternative site should your initial site fail on the platform. For instance, a click-able redirect to the mobile site at the top of the page would allow users that cannot fully explore your website to go to a compatible site with minimal fuss.
Some important considerations:
- Websites that over-use tables for the main layout will often not look right on mobile phones
- Your website must use CSS to ensure maximum cross-platform browsing
- It is preferable to code your website in HTML
- Design your website with users in mind. For instance, put the most important information at the top of the page.
- It can often be more difficult to enter text on a mobile website. Keep this in mind a fully utilise other methods.
- If your website has images, it is preferable to use JPEG or GIF files.
- Be aware that the maximum page size for many mobile devices is 20 kb.