When you decide to build your own website, you will more than likely have a million phenomenal ideas as to how you want the page to look. This is great except you need to realize that times have changed and more people have turned to smart phones and portable devices to access the web. Pages that were a sight to be seen in the past are now virtually useless to most people as they simply conflict with portable device software. This article will offer some techniques you can use to ensure the site loads on all devices thus being accessible to more people than a site designed for PC use.
First and foremost, your site pages need to load quickly. This can be accomplished by eliminating flash intros and audio that may automatically play when a person accesses the site. These often require a lot of bandwidth on both sides and loading times can drive a person away from your site forever. Remember that many people use data plans to access the web today and the loading times will vary greatly, and you certainly do not want someone saying this is taking too long to load.
This next suggestion will ring true for any site whether it is designed for portable devices or PC’s, and that is having clear navigation. Nothing is more annoying than looking at your screen on a small device or laptop and having to hunt for navigational buttons or links. The navigational methods should be easy to find and centralized to one location. It is too difficult to look for hidden navigational controls and most visitors will simply go elsewhere for their needs. It cannot be stressed enough that these need to be easy to access and find or you could lose a huge portion of your target niche.
Another issue many web designers don’t take into consideration is resolution. Despite media claims that people buy a new device every two months, they do not and you may have your resolution set too high for most visitors. The page needs to be formatted to not only work with today’s HD devices and screens, but also lower resolution devices like low end smart phones and VGA monitors. You simply have to be concerned about the screen sizes and media resolutions of the visitors hardware before committing to your chosen site resolution.
You also need to be concerned about your sites compatibility with all browsers. Not everyone uses Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. You have to take into account the proprietary browsers in smartphones, as well as those with specific operating systems like Android or iPhone. Each has a different browser and compatibility issues occur regularly when this isn’t accounted for in the design stage.
Finally, keep images to a minimum and of average size to ensure they will work on all platforms accessing the web and load quickly. Average-sized graphics are recommended in the 640 x 320 range to eliminate issues.
If you take to heart the suggestions given above, you will certainly design a site that will be accessible to all. Just remember that you want your page to reach as many people in your chosen niche as possible, not reduce the number due to a refusal to build a site that meets the needs of your consumers’ web-based device.