How to make a website mobile friendly

In 2018, it was estimated that 80% of all internet usage came from mobile devices. That means 8 out of 10 people that come to your website are using mobile devices. And if you haven’t made a mobile-friendly website, your website bounce rate is sure to increase.

No one wants to deal with the frustrations of viewing a desktop site on a mobile device (all that pinching and zooming). So if you want to know how to make a website mobile friendly, take these 9 steps.


9 Steps To a Mobile-Friendly Website


1. Pick a fast host

Reliable website hosting is a must, especially if the users will load your website from mobile devices. People hate slow websites and there’s no need for you to complete the following 8 steps if your site loads slowly. To ensure fast load times, pick a hosting provider with fast servers.

With there being numerous hosting providers, some of them are bound to have slow servers, despite being very cheap. Pick one that offers fast load times at an affordable price.

2. Make it responsive

You simply cannot have a mobile-friendly website without responsiveness. Responsiveness means that the website can adjust its elements depending on the screen size of the device being used.

For example, while you can see all the top menu items on a computer, the same is impractical on a mobile device. Those menu items should be bundled together in a collapsible menu (called the Humberger button). When the user clicks on this button, the menu items should collapse.

There are plenty of ways to make a website responsive. The most popular way is to use a CSS framework like Bootstrap. Bootstrap uses a simple grid-based system, where all the website’s elements are placed in 12 grids. The grids then shift to adjust to multiple screen sizes.

3. Keep it simple

While a site with all the bells and whistles can be stunning to look at, it can often be confusing for mobile users. Moreover, all those graphics and effects can significantly hamper its ability to load quickly.

Since you only have less than three seconds to convince the visitor to stay, this will simply not do. A simple and clean design can go a long way towards balancing elegance and the need for conversations.

4. Optimize the website for speed

A slow website can make you lose a little over half your audience. In fact, 53% of your audience will abandon your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

You need to make sure that your website is blazingly fast. That is why you must optimize it for speed in other areas as well. For instance, it makes no sense to have ultra-high image resolutions when it comes to making websites mobile-friendly. Those can be taxing to download, especially when the user is using a 3G network.

The same thing goes for videos. Make sure to offer default video resolutions that are mobile-friendly, such as 360p (with a setting to switch to 1080p manually). And if you can use standalone JavaScript, do that instead of using bulky JavaScript libraries like JQuery.

5. Optimize forms for mobile devices

smartphones usage

If your users are going to be filling forms, then you must optimize them for mobile devices. A big form with plenty of fields can be good for data gathering, but it can be frustrating to fill out for mobile users. Consider limiting the input fields to the most essential information that you need to gather in order to contact them.

Also, where possible, allow the form to autofill using the phone’s built-in capabilities. For example, virtually every smartphone has GPS that can detect the city and country where someone currently is. Your visitor shouldn’t have to go through the hassle of inputting this information when the phone can automatically do that for them.

6. Make sure the website is navigable with one finger

When building a mobile-friendly website, ask yourself if your visitor can access all the important parts of your website with their thumb. It can also be their index finger.

It is important that mobile users are able to navigate a mobile website without the need to use a second hand. This means no zooming. So analyze your site to make sure that there are no small texts, menu items, and buttons.

7. Avoid pop-ups

If there is one thing that mobile users find annoying, it is pop-ups. Even a small pop-up can make mobile visitors rage quit your website, meaning you must do what you can to avoid them.

Pop-ups aren’t really designed to be used on mobile devices. For example, a pop-pop may show on a mobile device but the button to close it might be hidden from the user due to small screen size. This can make one extremely frustrated to the point of leaving your site and never returning.

Of course, the users could manually block pop-ups on their browsers. But make browsing more pleasant by not including them at all.

8. Keep the content concise

A mobile-friendly website should have content that is concise and straight to the point. Mobile users want to get in and out with all the information they need.

This means writing long pieces of content doesn’t help retaining mobile users. Keeping the information short and sweet – short sentences and paragraphs – is the way to go. It makes the information readily digestible in small chunks, which mobile users love.

9. Use icons instead of words, where necessary

Too much text can make a website look cluttered, and you need all the space you can get on mobile devices. There’s probably a lot of text on your website that can be replaced with icons instead of words. This is usually that text that doesn’t contribute towards your SEO efforts.

Instead of saying “Follow us on Facebook”, you can just put a Facebook icon that takes them to your Facebook page when clicked.


A Responsive Mobile-Friendly Site is a Must

Making sure that users get a seamless experience on mobile devices is very important in this day and age. Of the above-mentioned tips, making the site fast and responsive is a must.

You can use all these tips simultaneously if that is what you want – the more, the better. After that, what remains is to test for compatibility to make sure you have really built a mobile-friendly website. Have people test out your website to make sure that everything is in order.

Matthew J. Bellwood

Matthew's journey in content marketing began in 2010. By far, he worked across the tech industry, jumping from hardware to software, absorbing and sharing knowledge with the goal of helping people to get the information they need and deserve. He gathered and used his experience to achieve unique strong point of view, therefore his articles tend to be personal with a reader. Matthew stands by well-researched, data-driven, material because that's what matters and that's what brings all the readers in.