Web design is steadily changing, and computers are quickly becoming secondary to mobile devices as far as getting online goes.
With global PC sales at an all-time low, it’s more important than ever for bloggers and website owners to make sure their sites are capable of accommodating mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
When someone accesses your blog on a mobile device, like a phone or a tablet, if their experience isn’t seamless, they are not likely to return.
So how does your blog stack up?
Here are some key points to consider regarding mobile website accessibility.
Evolving With The Times
When you walk through an older house, you’ll notice there have been a lot of tweaks over the years to take advantage of newer technologies and replace things as they’ve broken or become outdated.
At any point in the home’s history, the owners could have simply torn down the structure and built a new house in its place several times over.
But they didn’t, because doing so would be incredibly time-consuming, and would destroy the rich history and relevance of the original home.
In the same vein, you probably don’t want to have to tear down your blog each time there is a major operating system upgrade.
Setting your blog up to be able to easily adjust to slight changes over time, minimizes the need to completely redo things.
There is most certainly always an advantage to adapting to new times, rather than completely starting over.
You can make that process a little less painful by knowing where you are now and where you are headed. When you know those two things, staying current becomes a much easier feat.
Knowing Your Target Audience
Your target audience is the group of people to whom you want to cater as much as possible.
If you don’t know who your target audience is, mostly likely your monetization plans will inevitably fall through and your blog won’t be successful.
The hardware your target audience uses to surf the web is also important to know, as it is either going to make or break your blog’s success. Nutshell- if people can’t properly load your blog, they aren’t going to read it.
Fortunately, you can often find out what kind of mobile devices your audience is using by simply asking them.
This is an easy question that’ll get you a lot of useful information, letting you thoroughly test your code on the right devices instead of aiming for “everything.”
There are also many tracking programs and sites out there that can tell you everything you might ever want to know about your blog’s visitors and how they access your site.
StatCounter is a good tracking tool that can offer tons of details on your site visitors, such as exactly where your readers are accessing your blog geographically, as well as their computer specs: browser choice, screen resolution, type and size, connection speed, etc.
GetClicky (aff link) is also a great tracking tool, and is the service BGB currently uses and recommends. However StatCounter is a good free option if your funds are tight.
Once you have a good handle on your visitor stats, you can use the information to further enhance the site.
Take inventory of the most common visitor’s general information and make tweaks to serve that particular audience. The overall satisfaction of your readers will increase, and the future success of your site will be more secure.
For instance, if you find that your readers are accessing your site primarily via BlackBerry 10 powered devices, plan your next update accordingly.
Appealing to users with fast internet connections and copious social media sharing options, like users of BB10 devices, pumps up the potential of your site to be seen and shared around the web.
If your blog uses cascading style sheets or CSS, as many blogs do today, you need to stay aware of how things are being handled on the server side.
Granted, you don’t need to be a systems administrator, but having a good general overview of how the server handles code is a wise move.
Even if you hire out a lot of the work that goes on with the technical side with coding, you still need to be prepared for any problems on the server side, as well as for when mobile devices inevitably change.
If you tighten this up now, you won’t have these kinds of problems in the future.
Using a cell phone or tablet to get access to a blog doesn’t always mean the same thing as it did a few years ago. The rule about mobile users used to be that they accessed sites for a specific purpose.
They generally sought to accomplish this goal as quickly as possible, making it easy for web site owners to make certain assumptions about their users.
Today many mobile users actually use their devices in a stationary manner much like they used to do with a standard desktop computer.
Moral? Don’t assume your users’ patterns – test them.
It’s no longer safe for bloggers and website administrators to assume anything about their audience.
With global internet users surpassing 39 percent, there is a wide diversity of visitors that can land on any one site.
That means be smart and keep your visitors in mind. Optimize the experience for your mobile blog readers.
Do it now, and stay ahead of the curve.
Over to You
Is your blog optimized for mobile? How did you go about doing it? If not, what’s keeping you from doing it? Do you read blogs from your mobile device? Share your thoughts in the comments, and make ‘em good.
Disclosure: Aff link means #BGB receives a small financial kick-back if you purchase any service or product recommended by #BGB as an affiliate. All recommendations are based on merit or are products/services #BGB has used or is currently using. No product or service is referred to readers simply to make a buck.