Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

updated on Sep 07, 2015
How to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly We are now in a modern world where people rely heavily on mobile devices in daily life. So if you are running a website, no matter for personal preference or business, you must realize the importance of mobile traffic and optimize your website to deliver better using experience for mobile users.

In the case that your website is mobile friendly, you can expect more than 20% traffic increase, according to our experience. An increase of sales can also be expected. In addition, Google is now considering mobile-friendliness in search engine rankings.

Most modern websites are already mobile friendly. If yours is not, choose a solution in below.

Create a Mobile Version for Your Website

The cheapest solution for making a website mobile friendly without editing the site itself is to create a mobile version which works only for mobile devices. Using this solution, you can make sure that all the contents and features of your site can be displayed correctly and the using experience is just the same as the original website.

You can take this approach easily by using a mobile site design service or a mobile site builder. The whole task can be done within hours even by yourself. goMobi should be a good tool that is easy-to-use and affordable. But you should know that creating a mobile version is more suitable for personal websites rather than online businesses.

  • A mobile version can meet the basic needs of displaying your site properly for mobile views.
  • Making a mobile version is economic or even costless. There are many cheap or free services you can use. If you only want to achieve the basic goals, a cost of several dollars per month is enough.
  • The website arrangement and design might not be professional enough, and the accessibility might be limited. If you use a free service, it's possible that the only purpose of using the mobile site is to tell people that you site has a mobile version.
  • You have to manage and maintain two separate websites, which is time-consuming.
  • If your mobile website has a second URL (a subdomain of your site, for example), there may be difficulties for search engines to find it, which is not good for SEO.
Create a Mobile Version

Adopt a Responsive Website Design

This is the most popular approach at present that is adopted by a large number of blogs and small business websites. By using a responsive design, you are not creating a separate mobile website, and instead, your existing website can adjust itself to mobile devices.

If you are not able to create a responsive design with CSS, it's OK, because there are numerous well-designed responsive themes you can purchase and use. The cost varies much depending on the design, website scripts and the exact goals, but a few hundreds of USD is enough for most small and medium-sized websites. If you are using WordPress, there are also many free options.

This solution is suitable for small businesses and those who have limited budget and resources.

  • The cost is affordable for nearly everyone, especially WordPress users.
  • A responsive design can give your site an elegant display with full functionality. It is a very effective way.
  • Single site management is much easier. Unlike owning a mobile site, you only need to focus on your existing website and do not have to spare time and effort to maintain another one.
  • It's a challenge to choose a really good responsive theme that suits your need. As too many choices cause confusion, you must be careful enough when purchasing a theme. You'd better select a reputed theme marketplace like Elegant Themes and ThemeForest, and then read reviews before making a payment.
  • Only popular scripts come with many ready-to-use themes, so it would be quite hard to find a right design for your site in theme marketplaces if you use a script that is not widely used.
  • A third-party responsive theme is not recommended for large businesses which would like complete control over every element of the website.
Adopt a Responsive Website Design

Redesign Your Website with an Adaptive Design

Adaptive design is a high-end solution that is good for large businesses. It is used by many large companies which would like to invest heavily to deliver the best possible using experience and to reach the largest possible audience.

This kind of design is professional as it can detect and identify the viewer's device and then generate a specially optimized page that matches the device capability. Companies using adaptive design usually cooperate with website design companies or keep their own design department.

  • Adaptive design is professional and useful. It can make sure that there is almost no problem when the website is displayed on mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, or even TVs.
  • You can enjoy all other benefits brought by a responsive design, such as the simplicity of management.
  • There is no restriction of the platform or language used to build your website. No matter your site is created with open source scripts or HTML, the design is tailored for it.
  • The maintenance cost is heavy. A good adaptive design can cost thousands of USD, and the spend will increase as the design needs to be adjusted and improved with new elements and contents.
  • It's costly to convert to a new design. If you want to change the design of your website completely, you are paying another thousand of USD. Also, the content might be disordered if the designer is not professional enough (although this is less possible).
Redesign Your Website with an Adaptive Design

Use a Mobile Plugin

For the popular content management systems, such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and PrestaShop, the developers have already created some mobile plugins which can deliver your website content and features to small screens once they are installed on your website. Depending on how the plugin is coded, the browsing experience may vary much.

WPTouch is currently the most popular WordPress mobile plugin which is functional and multilingual. For Joomla sites, Responsivizer is one of the best choices, getting 100 scores in the user reviews on And for Drupal, the Mobile Theme module is good as it detects the viewer's device and then automatically switches to a mobile-friendly theme for mobile devices.

  • Mobile plugins are usually easy-to-use. For most plugins, you do not need to configure many settings after the installation and activation.
  • There are many free choices which can meet the needs of most small and medium sized websites. Some plugins like WPTouch also come with advanced paid versions which are more reliable and include more professional features. Websites with heavy traffic would better use a pro version.
  • Your mobile display might corrupt when you turn to another plugin. Depending on how the plugins are coded, they are different when dealing with your website content and features, so if you switch to another choice, there might be errors or conflicts.
  • Using mobile plugins comes with a lack of control. If you are not a developer who is able to modify the code, you can only follow the "rules" built in the plugins and cannot make changes to the elements you dislike.
Use a Mobile Plugin

Make a Mobile App for Your Website

Some large businesses prefer to create a mobile app to get consumers accessing the information they need easily. For example, many airline companies offer an app to allow people to check the flight times and order status, and large shopping sites develop apps to enable their users to shop anytime and anywhere.

Mobile apps are specially optimized for mobile users, offering great experience if they are well designed. However, you should note that mobile apps must be task-oriented, which means that you need to consider this solution only when you have thousands of users and you are sure they have several typical actions on your site.

  • Mobile apps are easy-to-use. They can even make it much easier to accomplish typical tasks on mobile devices than on desktops. They always come with an ordered and pleasant design.
  • A good mobile app shows your care about the consumers, which can help increase the reputation and sales of your business. User experience is highly valued nowadays, after all.
  • Developing a mobile app costs much. Purchasing a cheap app would cost dozens of USD on a monthly basis, not to mention paying for a highly customizable app or hiring a mobile app developer.
  • Mobile app is not the right option for all businesses. It is good for large businesses and social networks, but for small businesses and other kinds of websites, it is not useful and cost-effective enough. Using a mobile theme or plugin should be much better.
Make a Mobile App for Your Website