The growth of the market for tablets and smartphones has had a far-reaching impact on web design. Mobile browsing has been on the rise for quite some time and your website needs to be prepared for the future today. There are, for example, several features you may have been happy to install on your site that function perfectly well on desktops and laptops but which cause issues when viewed on smaller screens. Web designers now use what is termed “responsive design” when planning the layout and content of sites. Here are a few essential checks to make sure you are really up to date with your website design and not losing out because of old-fashioned, clunky features.
Loading times on smartphones tend to be slowed down by certain types of content, much of which may be non-essential. Google has posted an interesting article about the principles of web design for mobiles on the developers.google.com site, under the fundamentals tab. For example, responsive design takes account of the fact that when it comes to the mobile homepage, users need to be able to connect with the content they are seeking quickly and easily. If your page includes a call to action, the advice is to keep it front and center on the page and to keep menus short. The ability to return promptly to the homepage from any other page is also essential, as is making sure any embedded ads and promotions don’t overwhelm your own content.
Another consideration when it comes to keeping your web design up to date is to make full use of the tools and services provided by the company looking after your domain name. For example, if you’re using GoDaddy.com, you can expect good performance and access to advanced tools using responsive, modern design philosophy as a standard template. You will also benefit from fast page loading and dedicated as well as virtual private servers.
The founder of GoDaddy.com is Bob Parsons, and by 2014, the company was said to host more than 59 million domain names, employing 4,000 people, and serving more than 12 million customers. Many customer comments displayed on the company website focus on the value for money of using GoDaddy.com, as well as its reliability and quality of support. To find out more about GoDaddy.com and its history, visit Bob Parsons’ LinkedIn page.
Be aware that using Flash when designing your site is not a good idea as it can cause problems. Flash-based content isn’t optimized for mobile browsers and doesn’t work on most mobile devices. Instead, you are likely to cause slow load times, errors, and even bugs on mobile devices – not a good impression to make on those visiting your site. Look instead towards choosing frameworks that optimize the contemporary user experience.
Front-end web development is easier and faster when you use a good framework, such as Bootstrap, which enables automatic and seamless scaling of your website from desktop to tablet to smartphone. Using a starter template, you can add navigation tools as needed so that navigating your site is a pleasant and fluid experience. Each online visit should be quick and easy for your audience. As browsers change over time, you will need to ensure that the latest versions of the most popular ones are supported.
Mobile users often have to find things in a hurry – after all, they’re usually on the go. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that the opportunity to search your site is highly visible and that the results returned are relevant to the query. Add filters so that users can narrow their search and, if your site is commercial, let users explore before they make a commitment to purchase.
Finally, if you make it easy for users to stay on your site, then they will. When designing, optimize everything for mobile devices. Ensure images are expandable, particularly if selling products through your site, and if a specific orientation (landscape or portrait) offers a better result, then tell your users. Pinching screens to zoom in or out can be a nuisance, so avoid the need to do this, and if you need a visitor’s location, take the trouble to explain exactly why this is. Put yourself in your site visitors’ shoes, and use responsive design to make landing on your homepage the best online experience you (and they) ever have.