April 21st in the Year of our Lord 2015 will go down in history as “mobilegeddon”. It was the day when tens of thousands of websites have literally disappeared from Google’s mobile search results page because their design was not mobile friendly – a factor that the search giant has started using to rank websites. Although mobile friendly and responsive design is around for quite some time, there are many website owners and designers that don’t consider it important – and they are wrong. With mobile becoming the primary way to access the internet for more and more people, being mobile friendly is more important than ever – for businesses, blogs, conspiracy websites and royal vegas casino games alike.
But for a website to be mobile friendly is far from being enough for glorification. As everything else, “mobile friendliness” can also be done wrong – there are several mistakes designers and developers can make when building a portable face for a website. Here are the five most common ones to avoid (image via shutterstock).
1. Wrong redirects
Instead of building a responsive theme, many websites prefer to redirect their visitors to their separate mobile versions – usually a m.yourdomain.tld subdomain. Redirects can be a tricky business, though – and you don’t want mobile users to end up on the desktop homepage by mistake, as it will be almost completely unusable for them (image via shutterstock).
2. Wrong audio and video formats
Until mobile browsers will start using plugins and add-ons as their desktop counterparts, you will have to make sure to serve mobile visitors with content they can actually play on the go. Flash or Silverlight may or may not be supported on the browser used by the visitors, but to make sure you can always provide playable content to them you should use HTML5 instead, which is supported by all major browsers (image via shutterstock).
3. Annoying ad popups
Let me tell you a story: while searching for a product from my mobile phone (it doesn’t matter what product at this moment) I found the website I was looking for and tapped on its address. The page hasn’t finished loading yet when a popup has appeared: it covered all the screen, preventing me from tapping anything or seeing the website. I searched for a “close” button, and found one – but it didn’t work. With no means of working around the popup I was forced to leave the website – and I didn’t return to it ever since. The moral of the story is that you should avoid such popups, unless your goal is to drive people away from your website (image via shutterstock).
4. Slow loading mobile pages
This is most often encountered in case of bloggers who might not entirely be initiated in the secrets of serving content to visitors. Most of them upload and embed a picture in their post without thinking of optimizing it at first. Modern phone cameras take pictures that are quite high resolution (meaning large) – if you embed them in your post without reducing its size first you will end up with a painfully long loading time on a cell data connection – and possibly a visitor that will leave your blog for good (image via shutterstock).
5. Not having a mobile friendly website
This is definitely the biggest mistake a website owner can do today – for reasons I have already stated above and won’t repeat at this time. Avoid this major mistake – be responsive and mobile ready! (image via shutterstock)