With the prevalence of smart phones growing by the day (and Nielsen estimates that 37% of mobile users have a smart phone), good website design no longer ends with checking how your site looks on various browsers. You now must also figureÂ mobile website design into your overall website design plan.
Below are 3 suggestions to improve your users’ mobile experience with your website.
Make your Website’s Template Mobile-Friendly
Both WordPress.org and Blogger allow their users the option to optimize their sites for smart phones.
Install the WPtouch plugin.
This plugin modifies your site’s layout and look when viewed from a mobile device such as iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Palm Pre, Samsung Touch and Blackberry Storm & Torch. You can customize what elements of your website are presented to users (Do you want your categories and tags accessible? A search box present? Comments enabled?) and can choose to redirect your landing page to a different page of your website if, for example, your home page uses Flash, which is not understood by smart phones.
From your Dashboard, go to Settings –> Email & Mobile. Choose “Yes” and be sure to click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
For a preview of what your blog will look like on a mobile phone, click the blue preview button. And for those who have a QR Code reader on their phones, check out the QR code for your blog provided here.
Be sure your Comment System is Mobile-Friendly, too
If you operate a blog, you understand the value of comments received.
If you operate a blog, you understand how frustrating it can be when commenting systems don’t cooperate. There are a few things you should consider when considering how mobile viewers are impacted by your comment process.
Requiring Captcha and word verification steps in a website’s comment area is generally considered a major “blogging offense”. That frustration is only compounded when a commenter is asked to complete word verification on a tiny mobile screen.
Also, WordPress sites require a name and email address in order to leave a comment. Be sure your site saves that information so repeat visitors don’t have to endure the hassle of re-entering it on their smart phones.
Finally, site owners who use Disqus as their commenting system should check their site’s load time on their own smart phones. Disqus can take a while to load on a laptop, and often takes even longer when attempting to load on a mobile device.
Full Feeds Make Reading on the Go Easy!
Bloggers, handmade shops and business owners with a blog component to their websites all have the option for new blog posts to hit email inboxes and RSS readers as a full feed or partial feed. “Full feed” means the entire text of your post is visible in the email or RSS feed. “Partial feed” means that only the first few lines of the post are visible, and a reader would need to click over to the website for the full content.
Much like the captcha step mentioned above, many are passionately against partial feeds. Website owners who continue to use partial feeds should also take into account the extra step they are requiring of their mobile readers. It’s not uncommon for readers to catch up on their favorite blogs while commuting on the train, waiting in a school pick-up line or sitting on the sidelines of a soccer practice. You may not get the pageviews from those reading on the go, but isn’t it better that they are reading at all?
These are a few important items to consider when making sure your site’s design is mobile friendly. As mobile viewing become more prevalent, letting users easily access your content on-the-go is a necessity if you want to be competitive.
I never thought about this aspect for my blog, so thank you! Gonna check that my settings are correct for this.
Awesome information in this post! I was wondering about the word verification no-no you had indicated in my assessment. This makes sense especially since I’m using my phone more and more for accessing blogs these days.
i totally uploaded WPtouch when i was at Gleek Retreat. and partial feeds annoy me even when i am on my laptop.
I agree, and have been on many a Twitter convo or forum thread with people speaking passionately against partial feeds, to the point of unfollowing.
I agree. Mobile viewing is very important. People who use word verification make it so difficult when I read from my iPhone, which I do a lot!
Thanks for the article. I have installed the WPtouch plugin on a trial site, will let you know how I get on. I am also a mobile user for reading on blogs and agree about the partial feeds are a pain.
Hi. You make a very good point in your post about how critical it is to have your comments section mobile-friendly. With the vast number of people having internet on their phones, ipads, etc, we have to make sure that our blogs and sites are compatible with everything! Thanks for an informative post!
Hmmm…I am on Blogger and tried to go to my settings to see if I have them correctly. And the only thing under Mobile and email is asking about posting via SMS and MMS.
Is there another place I should look?
Blogger offers a limited amount of mobile friendly templates. It’s likely if you’re not seeing options to make your site mobile friendly it’s because your template is not authorized by Blogger to go mobile.
Just find out abt making my blog mobile friendly via dashboard two wks ago.
You girls are the best.
I so hadn’t thought about this! I just said “Yes” to mobile.
Thank you for this great information!
I did not think of this myself.