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We live in an increasingly mobile world, in which web users expect to obtain information quickly and effortlessly, wherever they are. The exponential increase in mobile Internet use has meant that web designers have had to evaluate how far their traditional websites can meet the needs of mobile users. Optimizing traditional websites for mobile devices is an essential process for those who want to give their mobile users a satisfactory experience. Following the six points below will help you to do just this, guaranteeing ease of use and user satisfaction.
1. Create a mobile domain
It is essential to create a separate domain name for your blog’s mobile version. In this way all users accessing your blog from a mobile device will be immediately redirected to your site’s mobile version. A subdomain of a mobile-optimized site usually has “m” at the beginning or “mobile” at the end of the URL.
2. Identify relevant information
Simplification is the key here: you need to identify what mobile users are most likely to want from your site while they are on the move. Make sure that all non-essential content is left out, including advertisements.
3. Streamline your web layout
Again, the key here is simplification. Mobile devices tend to load websites more slowly than traditional computers so it is worth minimizing the number of pages available on your mobile site and streamlining the site layout. Make sure that your blog remains uncluttered and reduce the size of any images in order to minimize extensive loading times that will only frustrate your user.
4. Maintain brand consistency
It is important to recreate the same branding elements from one site to another. The brand imagery and color scheme from your traditional site should be transposed to your mobile site in order to promote a sense of familiarity with the brand and for instant recognition.
5. Avoid using Flash and Java
Though Flash and Java may improve the appearance of a traditional website, it can cause many problems for mobile users whose devices do not often support them. Flash is not supported by Apple products, and while Java may be supported on some mobile devices, it often slows down the loading process, thus compromising user satisfaction.
6. Bear screen size in mind
Many users find using their fingers as a mouse rather irritating, often clicking on the wrong link or making typing errors. Minimize this irritation by making use of white space to give users more room to click, and by enlarging direction buttons. Use checklists and drop down menus wherever possible instead of asking visitors to type information using a keyboard.
The key to optimizing your blog for mobile devices is to keep your audience in mind. Mobile users rarely need all the information available on a traditional website, so make sure your optimized blog is both simplified and easy to use. Remember that once you are satisfied with your site, test it on different users using a variety of different devices; only in this way can you guarantee ease of use and user satisfaction. These basic rules apply to various types of websites. Good Luck optimizing your website for mobile devices!
This article was written in collaboration with Sahipasand.com mobile – a free mobile classifieds site. Now you can access and use Sahipasand from any mobile device.