Mobile websites are necessary to reach potential customers

Smartphones require you to think mobile first when creating a website for your business.

So it’s time to update your old website? Now is the time to also create a site that is mobile friendly. The U.S. cell phone market has converged: now more than 50 percent of all cell phones in the U.S. are smartphones — cellular telephones that can access the internet from the palm of the hand of the user. Your website should accommodate these hand-held, smartphone users.

A mobile website is not a miniature version of your desktop site. A mobile website is designed specifically for a smartphone. It has specific design elements that make it “thumb-friendly” and easy to navigate. Most mobile sites will strip down a desktop site to its bare, necessary, important content that is relevant to a smartphone user.

There are ten best practices for mobile websites:

  1. Keep it quick. Your users are consuming valuable bits of data from their plan, so your site should load quick.
  2. Make the navigation simple. Have a logical flow to your navigation and always have a home key so your user can return to the home screen.
  3. Be thumb-friendly. Thumbs are thick, so your navigation buttons should not be too close to each other, and they should be oversized to accommodate a thick thumb.
  4. Design for visibility. Your design should have much contrast from the background to the text. For example, a black background and white text has good contrast. Also, the font should be larger and the leading should be increased for easy readability.
  5. Make it accessible. All websites should be designed for accessibility. This is a concept that allows screen readers to “read” the content of the site.
  6. Make your mobile site easy to convert sales. In other words, put a shopping cart of some sort on your mobile site to create sales.
  7. Make your mobile site local. Have maps, directions, GPS coordinants and clickable phone numbers throughout your mobile site. Persons accessing your site via mobile device are on the move, and they really want to know how to get to your business. Make it easy for them.
  8. Make your mobile site seamless. It should be intuitive to navigate, easy to navigate and relevant content should populate your mobile website.
  9. Use mobile redirects. This is nerd language that means, your website will redirect the user to the appropriate website depending on the device that are accessing your site from. You have one url, but many devices can access your site:  a desktop computer, laptop computer, smartphone, etc. A redirect will deliver the appropriate content to the matching device.
  10. Listen to your customers, learn from what they say and then tweak your mobile site to perfection.

Mobile is here to stay. Your site should be able to provide your customer with the relevant information that they are seeking – design your new website for mobile first.

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