Mobile-First Web Design

Mobile Website Design & Development

Having been building website since 2006, we’ve seen the evolution of the web development world and the increasing client demand for more functionality and increased autonomy. What occurred to us a few years ago was that we would send clients the development link to their new website and they would come back with feedback and realise they were checking the site on their phone before looking on their desktop or laptop. This was a sign that times were changing and we needed to change with the times also. This led to a mobile-first approach and mobile-first web design has gain massive momentum.

What does mobile-first mean?

Basically, responsive web design (RWD) enables web pages to fit the screens of different devices automatically. This makes the experience more positive as it reduces users’ operations like panning, zooming and scrolling on your site. Typically, responsive web starts with the largest screen size and then the web designer would make adjustments for the smaller devices. However, in mobile-first web design the opposite happens. “Mobile first” means that the website design starts from the mobile end which has more restrictions, then expand its features to create a tablet or desktop version.

What is meant by mobile-first indexing?

Google defines this as:

Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent going forward.

Can I use WordPress CMS for mobile web design?

WordPress has a multitude of web builder frameworks, themes, plugins. In regards to achieving good page speeds, meeting core web vitals while having a pleasant UI/UX on a mobile device this is certainly achievable by using WordPress.

Pitfalls of using WordPress for Mobile Web Design

One of the biggest pitfalls would be when clients have used a particular theme they found on themeforest for example that no longer is fit for purpose. There may need to be a review and move or even rebuild to a theme that can produce better visual, performance and mobile speed results. The Google Speed test tends to give good scores for Desktop but the issue and sticking point can be for mobile devices but with mobile first indexing it indicates where the focus has been shifting towards and how web owners need to move with the times.

SSL Certificates (HTTPS)

In August 2014 Google officially announced that https would factor as an official ranking signal (read more at the Google Webmasters Central Blog by clicking here) Search Engine Land elaborated on this article and went as far to say that ‘Google to give secure sites a ranking boost’ h (Search Engine Land Article: Aug 2014).  Since this has been announced I’ve been somewhat of an advocate of placing a site on https. I wouldn’t say it is mandatory or critical but more of a best practice and positive to do item.

Moving to https with @Cloudflare

I’ve found Cloudflare to be a good solution for SSL, especially with their free option and their super speedy server response time which is a big thing within site speed.

Why websites use SSL

The below provides you with some extra benefits of adopting SSL:

  • Security: ensure that no one is intercepting web traffic
  • Trust: by displaying a green lock image, the website increases visitors’ trust
  • Regulatory compliance: financial institutions and web stores that work with credit cards must comply with regulations and adopt SSL on their websites

What’s the point of a pretty website if no one can find it?

For many businesses it is vitally important to ensure that their websites is easily found and has optimum visibility. From my experience, those sites that integrate SEO into the heart of the build rather than an adjunct or bolt tend to perform a lot better. Click here to find out more about our SEO Services