The 4 Biggest Mistakes Made When Developing a Mobile Website

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Will Youmans

May 14, 2019

The 4 Biggest Mistakes Made When Developing a Mobile Website

It’s no mystery that, by and large, people aren’t looking at your website on their computers. They’re using their phones. In the past, sites needed only run properly on a desktop browser (e.g., IE, Chrome, Safari and Firefox, to name a few. IE being the most challenging to work with). Today mobile has changed all that.

Over the years, when it comes to mobile extensions of websites we’ve seen a lot of mistakes being made.

In this article, we outline the 4 biggest mistakes made when developing a mobile website and how to avoid them.

1. Mobile sites don’t have to be separate sites.

A mobile site does not need to be a separate entity from your desktop site. I recall seeing many SaaS options rolled out that help you build a “mobile friendly” website. These were sites separate and distinct from your primary site. This is an unnecessary step. Today sites can be constructed to be “Responsive.” Responsive means that code and stylesheets are added to the desktop site so that it can correctly display under mobile conditions.

2. Neglect testing on multiple mobile browsers.

Our development process includes testing the “mobilized” experience of your site on Android and iOS devices. While there are simulators you can install on your desktop for this sort of thing, actually running the site on a real device ( the one you cup in your hot little hands) is FAR more illuminating. With mobile, the interface has become tactile. (i.e., You tap it. You touch it. You swipe it). Different browsers, just like on the desktop, render Responsive sites differently. Each browser handles styles, HTML5, and JavaScript slightly differently. Experience the site as would an end user and save yourself a lot of hate mail.

3. How about testing handling on slower connections?

I think U.S. developers, to some extent, are handicapped. That’s not to say we are not an impressive bunch of superhero coders. We can, however, be somewhat myopic when it comes to the rest of the world in our natural thinking. When you’re surrounded by the best tech, latest devices, fastest cellular, it’s easy to delude yourself into believing the whole world is like that. It’s not. Many people do not have LTE connections, especially outside the US and Europe. Think outside the zip code. Optimize. Optimize. Optimize.

4. As content changes and evolves you’ll need to test everything again.

This is more common than we hate to admit. When you finish the initial website, you will obviously test it against all browser widths to make sure nothing is broken for your mobile users. However, many developers forget to continue testing as things change. What happens when you add a few more menu items?