Optimising A Website For Mobile Browsers

Find out how to optimise your website to prevent display errors and improve the browsing experience on mobile devices.

Is your website being accessed by users browsing on mobile phones? Find out how to optimise your site to prevent display errors here.

With more and more people accessing websites on mobile devices, should you be optimising your own website to suit mobile browsers? The answer depends on the specific content, products and services that your provide through your website.

Generally, if you’re offering information that people would be likely to access from their mobile devices then you should certainly be ensuring your website views clearly and efficiently in a mobile browser.

However, with mobile devices becoming more effective at browsing the Internet, for some website owners there’s no need to do anything extra to your site in order for it to display well in a mobile browser.

So long as you’re not specifically targeting mobile internet users and your website runs well in a standard desktop browser in terms of how quickly images load and how well your site displays in various desktop browsers, there’s no need to spend extra time optimising your site.

Despite this, it can be a good idea to start thinking about certain elements of website design and content generation that are simply good standard practices in terms of building and maintaining a website. These include:

  • Optimising Images For The Web. Be aware of your file sizes.
  • Clear And Easy To Use Navigation. Remember that mobile phone users are on a much smaller screen.
  • Use Of Clear Headings.  Be sure to have headings set out in any easy to read manner.
  • Do Not Over-Use Flash And Java. Unless well optimised by a professional.

If you stick to these principles, chances are that you will naturally be future-proofing your website for a time when you receive significant numbers of visitors on mobile devices.

And don’t forget to optimise any RSS feeds as well as your website content – RSS feeds are great reading material for those on the move and should be checked to ensure they’re optimised for mobile users.

Cross Browser Compatibility

Cross-browser compatibility is all about ensuring your website displays correctly in various web browsers. While it would be nice to think that all browsers display websites exactly the same, and in most situations this will be the case, there may be small to large difference in how browsers display a certain website. A good practice is to open your website on a range of different browsers to check their functionality.

Although Internet Explorer comes installed as default on Windows machines, it has become common practice to use this to install another browser and then never use it again. As of November 2015, the most frequently used browsers were:

    • Chrome 54.27%
    • Internet Explorer (all versions) 15.45%
    • Firefox 14.7%
    • Safari 4.29%

As you can see, there’s a fairly diverse spread, but even though Chrome makes up the majority of web browsers, it’s still under half of all users. Therefore it’s important to accommodate all these different browsers.