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Mobile Friendly Websites

Responsive web design

All new websites designed by Lakeland Web Design are coded to be mobile responsive. This means that the layout of the site is not fixed, but creatively adapts to look good whatever the width or orientation of the screen it is viewed on. All websites are checked on Google's mobile friendly test tool to ensure they meet Google's criteria for a mobile friendly site.

There is no need to have two versions of a website for mobile and desktop users. Today's web technology allows us to code a website to have different layouts and styles depending on the width of the media screen.

... but my website looks fine on mobiles

A fixed width website that has no responsive coding can be scaled by the mobile device and may look presentable. However more often than not this results in the content being too small to be easily read without zooming in, links ending up too small or too close together to be easily selected, or content that doesn't fit the viewport widthwise, resulting in the user having to scroll from side to side. This makes your website less accessible and less usable for mobile users.

Search Engines & Mobility Issues

With the announcement from Google that it will - from 21 April 2015 - be taking into account whether a site is mobile friendly or not in search engine results for mobile searches, it has now become of critical importance that websites are optimised for mobile devices if the site owner depends on good search positions to promote his or her business on the web.

Even if you do not consider search engine placement an important factor in your business, the rules Google have laid down are basic rules for the usability of a website by mobile users. By making your site mobile friendly, you improve the experience mobile surfers will have on your website and it will be easier for them to navigate your site.

Google is using 4 main criteria to assess the mobile friendliness of websites:

  • Text should be large enough to read without zooming
  • The content should always fit the screen width (ie no horizontal scroll bar)
  • Links should be large enough and far enough apart so that big thumbs can hit the one they want
  • Media such as Flash, which is not supported on most mobile devices, must not be used

 

For further information please read Google's official statement.

Upgrading a website to be mobile friendly

Early websites will not have been built with mobile users in mind and can be challenging to upgrade. Some very old layouts may necessitate a complete rebuild.

To upgrade a site we will look at the existing structure and convert any fixed width settings to percentages. We will then evaluate the content and how best to format this for narrower screen widths. The more complex the layout, the harder this task will be. Any Javascript photo galleries or slideshows will need to be replaced with mobile responsive versions. Also a responsive navigation menu needs to be added.

For most of the sites that we have designed, you can expect to pay around £120-£180 for the upgrade.

Please contact us for an assessment of your current website and formal quotation if you are interested in upgrading your website.