If you have been following the technology trends for the last few years you will know that smart phones and tablets have become a staple in most people’s lives. For web developers this trend is something to pay close attention to. With more and more people owning smart phones and tablets the natural result is more and more people are using these results to surf the web. In fact according to reports mobile devices accounted for 23.14% of all web traffic in Q4 2012, up from 12.58% in Q4 2011 and you can bet these numbers will keep growing.
This news has a huge impact on how you should design your new website or redesigning your existing site. While these devices can browse the web and see your existing site optimized for the desktop, your site can be hard to read and navigate on mobile devices unless you have optimized the design for mobile. Font sizes, images, navigation etc which work fine on a desktop computer or laptop can be hard to read on a mobile phone or tablet.
For those of you who are creating a new website now is the time to think about this. The good news is it’s not to hard to optimize your site for mobile. The first think I would recommend is looking into the various blogging and content management systems out there such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla to see if these packages will work for building out your website. If they do then it shouldn’t be to hard to find a theme that is optimized for mobile or have a designer create one for you with mobile in mind. If you are building your website outside of one of the CMS or blogging platforms you should make sure your designer understands user experience and user interaction on mobile devices and is able to design a site that will work across all devices.
If you already have an existing site it might be a little harder to get your site mobile friendly but is something that should be looked into. The key is not to redesign your site so that a single design looks good on all devices but rather the leverage CSS to build your website in such a way that you can present different views on different devices. This way your website on a desktop browser can look the way it currently does but when viewed on a mobile bowser or tablet browser the site will look slightly different and be optimized and readable on those devices.