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Why and How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website

Updated August 20, 2019.

mobile friendly website

Why You Should Go Mobile-Friendly

Here’s a mind-boggling statistic: cell phones now outnumber people in the world.

Google modified its algorithm to favor mobile-friendly sites. And sites that previously had performed well in Google search engine results page (SERP) completely fell off because their sites weren’t mobile-friendly. Basically, this move was Google’s way of acknowledging that consumers are unequivocally going mobile.

People have double the interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else. That includes TV. Additionally, almost half say they wouldn’t buy from a brand again if they had a poor mobile experience.

Being able to provide your potential customers with a positive mobile website experience could be the difference between making the sale or not. It’s important to ask: What do my visitors see when they access my website using a smartphone or a tablet?

This guide will help you answer that question and make your website mobile-friendly.

How to Go Mobile-Friendly

A website that’s mobile-friendly is designed to be displayed on hand-held (mobile) devices such as smartphones or tablets. In the design phase, you basically have two choices: responsive or adaptive.

Responsive vs. Adaptive Web Design

Responsive web design is pretty much what it sounds like — a website design that responds to the device and size of the screen on which it’s being viewed.

Ever take the corner of your Internet browser and drag it in, making the window smaller? If not, try it right now. See how the website changes? That’s an example of a responsive web design. The majority of mobile-friendly sites have responsive designs.

Adaptive web design, on the other hand, is literally the creation of different website designs for each type of device. Adaptive websites identify the user’s device and adjust the website to provide the best outcome for the user. For example, let’s take a look at American Airlines. Have a computer and your phone nearby? Open the Internet browser on both your phone and your computer. Type in Check it out, two totally different web designs.

AA Desktop Website

AA Mobile Website

Adaptive designs are technically more complex, and thus tend to be more expensive than responsive designs. However, adaptive sites are known for their ability to offer the optimal experience for each device. Big brands like American Airlines leverage them to increase conversion rates specifically for each device.

How Do I Get Started?

After you’ve decided which type of mobile site you’d like to design, let’s dive into how to get started.

Designing Your Own Website

Your first option would be to build it yourself. You’ll have to know a bit of coding in order to do so. But if you’re adamant about picking up a new skill, Codecademy offers free coding classes online. Check out our post on how to create an engaging website design to guide you.

Building a Mobile-Friendly Site with a Template

Option two involves purchasing a responsive template or using a website design platform. This is a cost-effective way to build a mobile-friendly site that doesn’t require much coding or a significant amount of time.

Sites like ThemeForest offer tens of thousands of mobile-friendly website templates for a variety of content management systems (CMS). For just a few hundred dollars, you can purchase a template and have it installed quickly. From there, all you have to do is update the site through the CMS with your content.

Alternatively, you could use a website design platform like Wix, Pixpa, or Squarespace which are easy to use and require no prior familiarity with a CMS. Pricing for these platforms is based on a subscription model and ranges between $10-$30 per month.

Hiring a Developer

Your final option is to work with a developer. It’s the most expensive of all the options, but it’s also the most personalized. The best place to start when it comes to finding a good freelance web developer is by asking friends for a recommendation.

If you don’t come across a good match through word-of-mouth, can try Guru or Upwork.

Digital connectivity for your website is now more important than ever and will continue to be so in the future. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting. Don’t look at creating a mobile-friendly site as a challenge—see it as an opportunity to grow your business!

Last modified:  August 20th, 2019