Becoming Mobile Friendly

If your site doesn't work properly for people on small phones, large phones, small tablets, large tablets, small laptops, and large desktops, they'll likely just go away?

Do you use the same computer and device to look at your Drupal site? Maybe you use a Windows desktop PC when you're in the office, and your iPhone or your iPad when you're away from the office. Your site might work great for you on those devices. But what about the people who use different devices.

If you take a little time to dig into your Google Analytics reports, you'll be amazed by the types of devices people are using to engage with your site. You'll see Apple devices, Samsung devices, laptops, desktops, and all manner of size of tablets. It can be quite a list.

That's good. People are using your site on all different type of device. But what happens if you're site doesn't work properly on a certain device size?

Imagine, for example, your next great lead visits your site on their Samsung SM-G935F Galaxy S7 Edge, but the contact form isn't visible for them on that size phone? Good chance they'll go away, never to return.

Making your site mobile-friendly is, in my view, the greatest investment you can make in your site.

Why?

Because your users will probably hit the back button if your site doesn't work for them.

Not being mobile-friendly also affects your search engine rankings.

"Starting April 21, 2015, Google Search will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in Google Search results. Users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices."

Make sure your site's ready for mobile-friendly Google search results

Essentially, Google is saying here that if they think your site isn't optimised for iPhones, for example, it's unlikey somebody who's using an iPhone will see your site in Google search results.

You can test the "mobile-friendliness" of a web page from your site with Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool. If the test passes, great — the page you asked Google to check is "officially" mobile-friendly. If it fails, you should really move to being mobile-friendly as soon as you can.

But how do you make your Drupal site mobile-friendly?

Making Drupal sites mobile-friendly involves creating a new Drupal theme. This new Drupal theme includes all the brand styling of your existing site theme — logo, text colours, fonts etc — but with the addition of an underlying "mobile-friendly" framework. With this framework in-place, all the different elements of your site can be coded to "respond" to a certain device size.

An image on your site, for example, might respond by appearing full-width on a phone, but half-width on tablets.

This is why the term "responsive" is often used to mean "mobile-friendly". It's because the elements of your site —images, logo, font size etc. — "respond" and adjust to the device that's being used.

The modern web user expects and assumes your website will work on whatever device they choose to use. If it doesn't, they'll probably just go away.

Need to improve how your Drupal site behaves on mobile. Or need to convert it so it's fully mobile-friendly?


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