Examining Mobile First Web Design
Mobile first web design is a term you see a lot both within various web developer communities as well as across Google’s new set of algorithms.
While there certainly is a great deal of diverse sets of criteria into what constitutes a well thought out mobile first web design, the path to getting there is what seems to be a huge stumbling block for many.
What Is Mobile First Web Design?
Let’s take a look into a comprehensive look into exactly what a mobile web design is. In addition, you will hear this referred to as a responsive website design.
Basically a quality mobile web design is one in which it delivers the highest level of quality content in a fashion that is favorable upon various mobile platforms.
With nearly 92% or more, depending upon whom you ask, of all traffic coming through Google via searches is what has made Google put this into effect.
Let’s face it, more and more people are completing important searches from the convenience of their mobile devices than on a desktop system. That being taken into mind, this is where the emphasis is being placed into developers to create and develop mobile friendly sites.
Eliminating A Myth About Mobile First Website Design
Just because a theme you may have purchased from a variety of theme stores, doesn’t guarantee that it is going to pass the rules that Google is trying to sniff out in their new indexing algorithms for mobile friendly websites.
How many themes have you seen on Themeforest that denote themselves as being responsive and attempting to sell their goods as quality mobile friendly themes? Not to sell any of the themes on there short, however, just because it say’s “Responsive” isn’t a guarantee that it fits the bill for Google’s new directives in what constitutes a quality mobile web design.
You can take a look at an article which I had written back December of 2016 about Google’s new take on mobile first indexing.
While many have disputed my thoughts on what I interpreted about Google’s new approach, I have plenty of proof to substantiate my findings.
Going above and beyond quality content and the basics that go behind the standard SEO provisioning of any content, the design and other processes have gone overlooked.
Other Tools To Consider When Delivering A Mobile First Web Design
Now let’s take a look at other things that Google is working hard to implement, and for the most part have brought into play as the release of this article.
First and foremost is the utilization of all sites using SSL Certificates. Realizing this is an added expense on top of your existing cost of a website, it is one that is going to be a must if you desire to be indexed.
Many of the larger WordPress hosting companies are making this possible for free as an added benefit.
Other issues to address are the minifying of your CSS, JS and other related files. Many of these files create bloat and cause a site to slow down based on the amount of them that are being utilized across your website.
There are plenty of tools that enable you to ensure that your site is delivering these effectively. One that I prefer and have used on a several client site’s is Autoptimize.
Speed Is Everything For Your Mobile First Web Design
Another area that seems to draw a bit of attention is the attention that Google is lending to the speed of how quickly your site loads. They are attempting to ensure that users who are relying upon their data plans are not having to absorb large amounts of data that slows down a site’s ability to load quickly.
It certainly makes sense. Can you remember going to larger sites in the past, only having to waiting literally minutes before you could see their content on your phone?
Let’s not forget to mention the amount of pull that put onto your data limits. Thus, is the continuing drive by Google encouraging developers to bring forth quicker loading sites that are secure and load quickly.
Another way to load larger data such as images and such is to utilize a CDN. Again, this is obviously going to add an additional costs to maintaining your site. For those who are on a tighter budget, this is where using Siteground can play to your benefit. They offer a basic level of Cloudflare to deliver your site’s content.
In addition, you can take advantage of JetPack to assist you in delivering your images through one of their plugins known as Photon. While not necessarily the best solution, it certainly is one in which you can achieve at least a better overall performance to your website.
Eliminating The Bloat From Your Mobile First Website Design
Bloat? Yes, you know, all the things that come packaged up with many of those prepackaged themes.
Many people utilize a theme due to its appearance. While I understand this, what they fail to take into consideration is all the bloat of the code that is behind it. In addition, many of these themes that can be purchased from a variety of theme shops are loaded with plugins that are both heavy in design and put a great deal of pull onto site.
Thus resulting in a site that loads slow. Bad in the eyes of the all seeing Google!
The one thing that many of us who are developers and designers are guilty of is relying too much on the utilization of various plugins to deliver the level of functionality that a client may need.
It’s time for us to begin to rethink these on a global scale. Focus more on design, then take into consideration functionality and see how many plugins you can eliminate.
I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have taken over a client site from another developer, only to find more than 10 plugins that are on their site and not even being utilized at all.
While they are not activated, their mere existence places a pull onto the calls your website makes.
Determine what you don’t need and get rid of them. Not only that, but how many people are taking time to perform any kind of database optimization?
We all have done it, install a plugin, delete it and thought everything was okay. However, many times even though you have deleted it, there is still a footprint in the tables of your database. These must be removed so that the crawlers are not tripping over cluttered junk that no longer exist upon your site.
I was able to find another article which articulates this point perfectly.
Impacting Your Mobile First Web Design
Have you been able to detect anything on your site which may be affecting your mobile first web design?
What are some of the things that you are doing going further to help your site achieve higher rankings based on Google’s new algorithms and metrics?
Please feel free to share them with us, we’d love to read about them to further assist both website owners and developers around the world.