By: Calvin Sellers
With an increasing number of people relying solely on their smart phones and tablets to browse the Internet, shop, pay bills, and look for new products and services, it’s a good idea for every company to have a mobile site optimized with responsive design. The thing to remember is that a mobile site has a number of very important requirements, so whether you’re creating a new site or managing an existing mobile-friendly page, you need the right tools for the job.
You’ll have to think about managing your graphics, your online store, the user interface, and a number of similarly crucial aspects that will keep everything running smoothly. Here are seven tools to better help you.
1. Make an App for Your Mobile Site
Every mobile site should ideally have an app. What it does is entirely up to you, but think about the big-name mobile-based sites that have apps:
Whatever you offer, sell, or do, you should have an app specifically designed to complement your site. If you’re an SEO-based company, your app can make it easy to order services or it can highlight new packages and events. If you own a jewelry site, your app can act as a mini-store. If you simply have a blog, an app can offer an easy way to read all the highlights and most popular posts. People will use it, as long as you create it.
2. Use Other Apps to Your Advantage
You need to make use of any apps that help you manage your site as well. You can use an app for your blogging platform or you can use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media apps to update your own site and its networks at a moment’s notice.
There are also apps such as Evernote and DrawDia, along with FTP and SSH apps that can help you map your network, share notes with your collaborators, and track any traffic on your site. You can find apps that will make your site even more mobile-friendly as well. Find what works for you and put it to good use.
3. Find the Perfect Plug-Ins
When you have a mobile site, plug-ins are your best friends. There are plug-ins for everything, and many of them work to enhance the process for all your mobile viewers. In fact, plug-ins are especially important for mobile sites because something such as MobilePress will make your site look better on mobile devices. Even if you created your website before giving a thought to responsive design, the right plug-in will essentially do all the work for you.
Mobile users will see all of your graphics, text, and even your ads the way they’re supposed to look. Your themes will sync up seamlessly, making sure there aren’t broken links, graphics, or background images. If you have a mobile-optimized version of your current site, there are also plug-ins that will redirect the visitors who come to your page using a mobile device to the optimized version.
4. Track Your Traffic with Mobility Management
Mobility management is an essential tool for your mobile site. At the outset, it may seem like it’s only a means to make mobile devices work, but it has another benefit for you. By relying on BlackBerry Enterprise mobility management, you can keep track of where your visitors are and where they’re coming from when they visit your site. Mobility management tracks area codes and sends information to the network, so it plays a part in helping you send tailored updates, text messages, and offers to your frequent visitors.
5. Choose a Mobile-Friendly Template
If you’re creating a mobile site, those plug-ins are definitely helpful, but you should start by picking a mobile-friendly template. Pick something that’s capable of resizing photos, so that regardless of screen size or resolution, the graphics will look great on any mobile device.
Choose something that’s easy to read and clearly laid out, inviting flawless user interface that allows visitors to quickly find links, categories, search bars, and archives. When people use their mobile devices, they want to explore your content, not the site navigation. Make everything easy to find, read, and use so you don’t risk alienating visitors.
6. Locate a Great Color Coordinator
Color coordination seems like the least of your worries when you’re creating or optimizing a mobile site, but it should become a top priority. There are endless tools, such as palette pickers and apps, that ‘ll help you pick the perfect shades for your site.
Why is that so important? Well, how many people do you see browsing the Internet on their phones while they’re outside? You need hues that are easy to see and easy to read, even in bright sunlight. Furthermore, some colors won’t work well on smaller screens, meaning that the wrong choice could turn off potential visitors right away.
7. Make Use of Multitasking Tools
Anything that helps you save time as you update your mobile site is good for you. This is especially important if you’re integrating Facebook time lines and Twitter feeds. Fortunately, there are several tools, platforms, apps, and programs that will help you streamline your updates:
Using multitasking tools will simultaneously save you time and increase your traffic. You can tailor your messages and updates to pinpoint your biggest fans, or put forth more information during busy times of the day.
With the right tools, your mobile site will easily become a huge success, primarily because you’re making the best use of your time. What are some of the essential tools you use to manage your own mobile site?
Calvin Sellers is a tech writer from Tampa, FL. Follow him on Twitter @CalvinTheScribe.