by Mark Jones

Have you ever tried to look at a website on your smartphone only to be frustrated because you can’t really navigate the site easily? With more than one billion smartphones now in use worldwide, nonprofits are reporting that up to one third of their web traffic is coming from mobile devices. So how easy is it to navigate your ministry’s website with a mobile device?

According to the Network for Good and PayPal, these eight tips can make your website more mobile friendly.

 Make it snappy.

Keep your website’s page load times under five seconds—under three is even better for mobile delivery. Remove anything that makes your pages stall or fail to load.

Minimize data entry.

Whether it’s on a donation form or a newsletter sign-up box, try to minimize the amount of typing your visitors have to do. It’s already a best practice on a desktop (they’ll be more likely to fill out your form or complete the action they’re trying to take), and it’s absolutely critical for mobile users, since typing a lot of information can quickly become a drag on even the smartest of phones.

Your copy must be short and sweet.

Remember: Online visitors don’t read, they skim. Reduce the amount of text you have on each page and break up longer blocks of text with headings. Use an easy-to-read font size and type. Choose shorter sentences and clear calls to action instead of long paragraphs.

Focus on one high-quality image.

Images can help quickly communicate a story or call to action, but make it your mission to focus on one high-quality photo rather than using multiple images on a page. More images will take longer to load and won’t look good on a smaller screen.

Remove the roadblocks.

Website roadblocks can make your site virtually unusable on a mobile device. Reduce your dependence on Flash, JavaScript, pop-ups, or other animations for best results—most mobile devices can’t correctly display content in these formats. Swap them out in favor of static images and clear, compelling copy.

Keep relevant content front and center.

Don’t force mobile users to scroll across three columns and all four corners of your site to find what they’re looking for. Make it easy to access the key pages of your site by placing them prominently near the top and center of your page.

Make links and buttons easy to use.

Review your links and buttons: Are they large enough to click on from small screens without zooming? Be sure to provide enough space between links or buttons to prevent a wayward thumb from clicking on something by accident.

Keep it simple.

A simple, clean design is a good idea for any site, whether it’s accessed on a desktop browser, tablet, or smartphone. Embrace the use of white space, clear the clutter, and narrow your visitor’s focus to one or two clear calls to action. This improves the usability of your website and removes unnecessary distractions .

For the complete article and a corresponding e-book on this topic, visit Network for Good.

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