Now we are in the era of PWAs, SVG animations, Icon Fonts, Frameworks and other luxuries that every web designer wants to use. A great looking, feature rich webpage has a lot of sacrifices to make in terms of SEO and Page loading speed. When more code and images become part of a web page, it is hard to maintain them ready for slow speed connections.
Understanding Mobile Devices
A mobile screen, be it an iPad or an entry level smartphone, has a number of limitations. From resolution to touch responsiveness, they come in all shapes and sizes. Also, the RAM, processor, connection speed etc play a huge role in how a web page gets rendered in a mobile browser.
Google and Mobile
Every webmaster literally wants their website to do well on Google search results. And Google was always very caring about people with slow internet connections. Even before mobile, Google made efforts to ensure that low-speed connections too have the ability to use the internet and browse web pages.
This has set a new standard for how web pages are made. Webmasters with heavy web pages started offering a lite version for slow-speed connections. When mobile phones started making use of the internet, to match the slow speed connections, a new strategy emerged. A lot of websites started offering a mobile version which worked great on that day mobile phones and smartphones.
It was the beginning of mobile-ready websites which has become a priority now. These mobile versions were meant to be used on those days 2G connections or ISDN or ADSL connections which boasted 54 Kbps as high-speed connections.
Mobile First Indexing
As of July 1 2019, Google switched to mobile first indexing for all new websites and made serious efforts to encourage existing websites to embrace mobile first indexing.
This means that webmasters and web developer / designers will have to make sure that the content and experience on the website is comfortable for both mobile and desktop users.
Variety of Devices
With the tech world embracing 3G and 4G, mobile devices were able to enjoy the same rich experience that only came through wired internet connections. But there were still many roadblocks to overcome for web designers to serve websites equally on all mobile devices.
The most important hurdles were
- Different Screen sizes
- Different Mobile Browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera etc
- Different Mobile operating systems like feature phones, Android and iOS
- An entirely different niche of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets etc
How to Get Your Website Mobile Ready in 2022?
I am sure that you have a website related to your business or service. But have you ever done an audit about its mobile friendly nature? Are sure that it will work well when someone uses their iPhone, iPad or Android to access your website? Start by checking how mobile ready your website is.
You can check it here
Responsive Design for your Website
A responsive design can adjust itself to almost all available standard screen sizes in the market. It will make your website look great on tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and other devices. Unlike earlier days, you need not have to code them all from scratch. Ready to use frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap, Tailwind CSS etc provide an excellent base for creating responsive design.
If you are not a fan of frameworks that give so many options there are many leaner frameworks that will help you add just the responsive elements and nothing else.
Optimise for Speed
Google has a very effective tool to check your web pages by URL. This is a free service that gives back a lot of data and suggestions on how you can make the web page load faster.
Google Pagespeed Insights will also help you see the current score of your website, the factors that are affecting the performance and other data that we can use to fix the page loading speed issues.
They are mostly JS or CSS files in a normal webpage. And minifying is one of the popular options to overcome this bottleneck.
Images play an important role in affecting the user experience on a website. A few beautiful images can simply turn the tide for you. But high quality images are heavy too. When it comes to being mobile friendly, image optimization plays a big role in affecting page load speed and the responsive nature of the website.
If you are using a framework like Bootstrap or Tailwind, it has default code which you can rely on to make your images responsive. The use of breakpoints will help you make images behave according to the screen size.
Conventional PNG format is capable of giving high quality images, they are sometimes too heavy to handle when designing for mobile pages. These days .webp images are a hot favourite among web designers for their light size while maintaining the quality. SVG is also a popular option for reasons like being lighter and easy to animate.
Latest approaches like lazy loading for images help a lot in preventing images from affecting the page load speed. In this method, only a part of the images are loaded at first and the rest of the images are served on demand. Since the amount of images loaded during the first serve is less, page loading speed will be unaffected.
There are ready to use code available on CodePen and other resources which you can use to bring this feature to your web page.
Better UI and UX
Building a layout for mobile is very different compared to the desktop version. Big fingers, screen size, touch sensitivity etc affect how gestures and tapping work on a website. Make sure that you use bigger buttons, larger font size, a proper grid system and enough spacing to ensure that UI and UX is a breeze on mobile screens. With help of professional web designers you can achieve the best UI and UX for mobile.
Navigation should be easier and use distinct representative elements to aid proper use on a mobile screen. Make sure that you count all screen sizes and not just small ones. Extra large monitors are getting very popular these days and focusing only on small screens is a bad investment.
Use a CDN
CDN helps you deliver your status content without delay and thereby greatly influencing the page load speed. There are many services like Cloudflare that offer free service in this area.
CDN also helps a lot if you are serving content globally. You need not have to load your files from the US if the visitor is from Europe. Most popular CDN services will deliver the content from local servers making page loading a breeze and thereby influencing the mobile experience of your website.
If you are planning to use Font Awesome, Bootstrap or other libraries, consider serving them through CDN. Most of the popular libraries offer them for free.