If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s worth checking to see if your web site functions properly on a tablet, like an iPad, and a mobile device, like an iPhone. People are relying more on these lighter, thinner, simpler machines to surf the web.
So, what does this mean for you?
Your site may be technically out of “touch”. Before these devices became commonplace, many web sites were programmed so the mouse “hovering” over web graphics would trigger an action — most often, a dropdown menu that would allow you to navigate to other pages of the site. You’ve likely used an iPad or iPhone to browse the web, and so you know there is no ‘hover’ feature with these devices. Your finger performs the functions of the mouse, and single taps trigger different actions on a web page. Because of this and other functionality issues, your web site may appear and function differently than it does on your desktop or laptop computer, so your visitors may not be able to navigate around your site. Certain code changes can remedy this, but it really depends on how your web site was programmed.
Layouts can appear drastically different on mobile devices. Tablets and mobile devices are designed to accommodate certain widths for web sites. If your web site is wider than a device’s specifications, your site’s layout and design may be adversely affected. Some important page elements may be pushed out of the viewable area, or bumped down to another line so your pages maybe appear as a jumbled mess. To be certain that this isn’t happening to you, check your site on these gadgets and view it horizontally and vertically. If you have a problem, you won’t need to create a whole new site; you just need to take some steps to ensure that your current site is optimized for smaller screens.
Flash has become just a flash in the pan. Some devices, including the popular iPad and iPhone, don’t support Flash. If your web site contains major Flash-based components, such as navigation or key information about your business, visitors using tablets or mobile devices will be unable to view these components, or may encounter various error messages. Fortunately, there are ways to replace Flash, and simulate animation, with other mobile-friendly code.
So, what can you do?
Look at your site on your tablet or smart phone, and compare how it looks and functions to when it’s viewed on a desktop or a laptop computer. Does it look the same? Do your navigation menus work? Can you access all pages of your website? If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, you should call the programmer who built your web site or give us a shout here at Stride. Fixing the problem could potentially be an inexpensive fix. And even if it’s not a quick fix, it’s important to keep your site up to date as technology and mobile devices evolve. The percentage of people using them to search the web is substantial, and increasing every day.