How To Test Whether Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
If you’re a visual artist, having a website is more important than ever given the increasing popularity of both seeking out and purchasing art online. According to StatCounter, more website visits now come from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than from laptop or desktop computers. So, your website needs to be mobile-friendly to be effective.
What does it mean for a website to be mobile-friendly? Since devices like smartphones and tablets have smaller screens than laptop or desktop computers, a website needs to show less content at a bigger size to mobile users, otherwise the website appears too small to read. Here’s an example of how a mobile-friendly page displays on a variety of devices:
Notice how the navigation menus on the larger screens change into a hidden drop-down menu on the smartphone, and how three columns of images collapse into one or two columns.
Since smartphones and tablets have a touch screen instead of a mouse or trackpad, the navigation menus and other functionality of a website must work on a touch screen for the website to be mobile-friendly. Form fields should adapt to the size of the screen so they are easy to fill out, and buttons should be big enough to click with the touch of a finger.
You can start checking whether your website is mobile-friendly by opening it in the web browser on your own smartphone or tablet. Is it easy to see the content and navigate to different pages?
Free Testing Tools
There are also free tools that can help you test whether your website is mobile-friendly on the most popular mobile devices. To do this from your laptop or desktop computer, visit http://quirktools.com/screenfly/ and enter your website address (including the “http://” or “https://”) then click Go. Once your website comes up, you can click on the screen, tablet, and phone buttons in the top left corner to see how your website appears on various devices. You can also click on the Allow Scrolling button to scroll down through long pages. Note that your website is live inside the preview, so you can navigate through it to look at different pages.
Whether your website is mobile-friendly affects not only visitors, but also how Google ranks your website in search results. So, it’s important to check whether Google sees your website as mobile-friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. Just enter your website address and click the “run test” button. Google will tell you whether it considers the page mobile-friendly, and alert you to any specific issues. You may need the help of your designer or web host to resolve problems.
A mobile-friendly website is no longer optional, but a must-have for artists who want to successfully promote their work online. There are free tools available to help you evaluate whether your website is mobile-friendly, so put them to good use and act on the results!