Starting a website or blog can be an exciting business opportunity, but there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to designing a great site.
Many website owners don’t pay enough attention to mobile. They think in terms of their content being viewed on a desktop computer. However, with billions of Smartphones being used, and tablet computers, it is important to consider whether desktop content should be the same as mobile content.
The short answer is, it depends. But asking the question is the first step to planning well for both.
The type of content will determine which format to use. With written content, the size of the screen should not make too much difference as long as the page width is not too large, or you use responsive design. Responsive design will scale the content to the size of whatever screen a viewer is using.
The best way to ensure your content is readable on mobile is to set up your site as a WordPress blog. The program is free, easy to use even if you are a complete beginner, and mobile-friendly. It has a wide range of free templates called themes that can help you produce a professional-looking site even though you have no design experience. The most up to date themes are configured for responsive design, so choose from the most recent ones that suit your style and color scheme.
It will also depend on the type of content as well. In terms of ecommerce, for example, your catalog of product would need to be mobile-friendly. WordPress has plugins that can help with this too, or you can use a popular ecommerce site like Shopfiy or Bigcommerce to set up your store.
Desktop and mobile features should vary based on the size of the screen and the user experience. On desktop, content is accessed via a mouse, used to scroll and click links. In terms of Smartphones, the content will be accessed with the users’ fingers. They can pinch and widen the screen to focus the content better, and scroll up and down. They can also swipe back and forth.
Blue hyperlinks stacked one on top of the other will be very hard to access via mobile device, so you’ll need to either increase the spacing between the links, or create buttons for the links that can easily be pressed with the tip of a finger.
Note that anything on the right-hand side of the screen will disappear completely, or be placed at the bottom of all the other content. If you have a navigation menu on the left, your main content in your second column will drop below, leading to a lot of scrolling to see what you have to offer.
If you are relying on navigation on the right to help people browse your site and it too vanishes to the bottom. So, what they see on the screen is what they will get, and it may not be that interesting.
Make a search box prominent and choose a theme with a short preview of the content on the front page, and a Read more button.
Whether or not your content should be the same for both desktop and mobile devices will depend on how your audience will use the site. The more streamlined and clean the site is, the more compatible it will be for both forms of viewing.