There’s a growing trend towards the use of smartphones, tablets, electronic wearables, and other mobile devices to access the Internet. In fact, a comScore report found mobile U.S. Internet traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time ever earlier this year, and experts predict this trend will continue in the years to come (source). Bloggers who fail to acknowledge the ever-growing demographic of mobile Internet users will get left in the dust by their competitors. So, how do you ensure your blog is ready for the mobile revolution?
Don’t assume that your blog will function as intended on mobile devices just because it does so on desktops. Smartphones and tablet computers have different screen sizes, display ratios, and they often lack plugins/extensions commonly found on desktop browsers. So even if your blog functions properly for desktop users, mobile visitors may experience broken elements, display errors, and other problems.
How To Create a Smartphone-Optimized Blog
Google supports three different configurations for creating smartphone-optimized websites:
- Separate mobile domain. This involves creating a dedicated website specifically for the mobile version of your blog.
- Dynamically serve different HTML based on user agent. The second configuration consists of serving different HTML to users based on their respective user agent. In other words, your blog will check the user’s browser to determine whether he or she is on a desktop or mobile device. If the latter, your blog will serve mobile-friendly HTML to the user.
- Responsive Web Design. The third configuration is known as a Responsive Web Design (RWD). This is the preferred choice by both Google and Bing, so it’s recommended that you use it when creating a smartphone-optimized blog or website. RWD involves the use of proportion-based grids combined with CSS3 media queries to create a universal layout that functions the same across all devices. Whether a visitor is accessing your blog on a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc., you can rest assured knowing he or she will have 100% funnctionality.
Even if you believe your blog is optimized appropriately for mobile traffic, it’s recommended that you test it to ensure it functions as intended. Granted, you can do this by viewing your website on different devices, but this is a tedious, time-consuming process that really doesn’t make much sense. A smarter testing solution is to use the free online tool located at http://mobiletest.me/. Simply click on the device you wish to use, input your blog URL, and it will show how your website looks on the respective device.