There’s nothing worse than having a beautiful desktop website and a mobile site that doesn’t work properly.
Most design fixes are simple, but require attention if you want visitors to stay on your site while browsing on a mobile device.
This article highlights seven problems with mobile-friendly websites and their solutions.
- Changes made will not show on mobile
- Unfriendly navigation
- Responsive layout suddenly stops working
- It takes too long to load images
- Main content is not clear
- Too much information
- Data for small screens
Mobile friendly website updates not showing
You have just spent a lot of time updating your website. They look great on your desktop, but won’t show up on your mobile device.
One of the most common reasons is caching. Your mobile browser may be showing an old version of your site that you previously downloaded. Another reason could be that your website is keeping the old version of your page and not showing your changes.
Below are four steps to help you clear your website cache and browser so that the new version can appear on your mobile-friendly site.
- Refresh your browser multiple times on your desktop and mobile device.
- Test your website on different mobile devices.
- Clear your site with a caching plugin.
- Check with your hosting company to see if there is another caching system on your server that needs to be cleared.
It can be challenging to create a navigation menu that works well on mobile devices. If your website navigation has a lot of items and submenus, it’s even harder to squeeze everything into a smaller screen.
For example, if you only have three or four items in your website navigation, it should look good on mobile. However, if you have more items and submenus, they will stack on top of each other and look busy.
Below are a few ways to solve this problem for a mobile-friendly website:
- Turn your navigation into a mobile drop-down menu.
- Display your navigation menu as block elements so that they appear vertically.
- Use a menu icon that can be toggled to take up less space.
- Create a mobile navigation menu with jQuery.
- Use the Hamburger menu (Many themes include this as an option or you can use a plugin†
Responsive layout suddenly stops working
If your mobile-friendly site suddenly stops working, it could be due to a plugin on your site.
Installing a new plugin or updating an existing plugin may cause conflict with others that affects your responsive layout.
Start by deactivating each plugin one by one to see if this is the cause. Don’t disable them all at once, otherwise you won’t know which plugin could be the culprit.
Code changes are another possible cause. If you accidentally or intentionally changed code, restore the original codebase and see if your responsive website starts working again.
When checking your site for mobile responsiveness, always test it on a mobile device.
Sometimes it seems to work when resizing the browser window on your desktop, but it doesn’t display properly on mobile.
Missing a line of code in an HTML header file can break the responsive design. This single line of missing code makes your mobile device assume that the site you are viewing is a full website.
The site displayed is the size of the viewport (the size of the area of the web page that is visible to the user).
To fix your mobile-friendly site, add the following line of code to the header:
Sometimes this code can disappear when a theme is updated.
It takes too long to load images
Optimizing images and reducing the file size of images makes sense. Large images that are not optimized can slow down the loading speed of your web pages. This can be frustrating for mobile users.
WordPress version 4.4 and above automatically provides the smallest version of an image on your server.
If you’re already using the latest version of WordPress, but your site still isn’t loading fast enough, you can:
Main content is not clear
Some websites are loaded with a lot of unnecessary content to fill the empty space when opened on a desktop.
Websites developed without the awareness of mobile users generally fall under this category. These sites require more time and bandwidth to load.
If the pages are not designed for mobile devices, some of the content may not display on mobile devices without a lot of scrolling.
Usually, an element on your web page will look one way on a computer and completely different on a mobile device.
For example, a three-column pricing page shows them side by side on a computer.
However, on a mobile device, the columns are stacked on top of each other because the screen size is smaller. This behavior is to be expected.
Make sure your pricing table is in a top position on your webpage so that it shows up first when viewed on mobile. If you have a lot of text above your table, mobile users will have to scroll down to see it and maybe not.
For the most optimal mobile user experience, place the most critical pieces of content at the top of the page. If a user has to scroll a lot before they can view your content, they probably won’t.
Too much information
Sites with complicated user interface elements such as tables, multi-step forms, and advanced search functions can create a poor mobile user experience.
These elements contain too much information that can crowd out a mobile screen and hinder a user from finding the information they are looking for.
One approach is to remove or hide certain content from mobile users. However, this is not an ideal solution for visitors who want to access these elements.
To avoid this problem, optimize your mobile-friendly site as much as possible. Also, remove all unnecessary elements while concentrating on the core structure of your website.
Data for small screens
Complex tables with many rows and columns can be a problem when viewed on small mobile screens. The best solution is to use responsive tables.
A plugin like WP responsive table can achieve this easily.
Similar to the pricing table above, when viewed on a mobile device, the columns are stacked to fit the smaller screen.
Other ways to view data on mobile devices include:
- Create a smaller table without the grid layout to avoid horizontal scrolling.
- Tilt a table on its side to better fit a smaller screen.
- Replace larger tables with smaller ones that link to the full version.
- Convert tables to pie charts.
As mobile usage grows exponentially, it is imperative that business websites be optimized with mobile-friendly versions. Improve the user experience without sacrificing functionality by following the steps above.
You should also always monitor your site’s performance and make adjustments as needed to improve performance and user experience.