Best Practices for Mobile Friendly Websites

Monday night football and you whip out your smart phone and prepare to order strategically: Thai? Pizza? Lebanese? No, you know just the thing– a plate of smokin’ buffalo wings from the restaurant right up the road (it is football season, after all). While images of chicken wings dance in your head, you order from the online site and make it to the checkout page, only to discover you can’t read the credit card form on your phone. You X-out of the site, and resolve yourself to chicken fried rice instead.

This theme is not unique to delivery restaurants; having a mobile friendly site is a necessity in the nonprofit world as well. With more transactions and connections being made through mobile devices than ever before, we are faced with the task of making information mobile, convenient, and accessible. Without this compatibility organizations are losing a large number of donors and donations.

Organizations need to address the reality that 50% of donors who attempt to donate on websites from their smartphone give up, either because the site is not easily navigable or is not optimized for mobile devices. So how do we make it easy to give?

1. Optimize your website for mobile devices

Mobile optimization is no longer an option- it is a necessity. There are two ways of going about making your site mobile-friendly. The first option is creating two separate sites, one designed for a desktop and one for mobile screens. The second, more popular option is to launch an entirely new responsively designed website. This allows for flexibility in your page width and image sizes, and your layout can be adapted to one column to be easily read on a smartphone or tablet. Following the insight of Mr. Dylan, the times they are a changin’ and this option makes it easy to make changes to your site in the future.

2. PICS & texts

More show, less tell. Too much text on a mobile screen can be overwhelming, and trying to pinch in to read small fonts is frustrating to your reader. Show the people what you mean, and keep it simple, smartie.

3. Say things in a big way

In that same vein, increase your font size so that your reader doesn’t have to zoom in to read and you’ll have much better odds of retaining your audience.

4. Keep it moving

On touch screens, it is inherently easier to scroll up and down instead of left to right. There are, however, times when left to right scrolling can be useful (when scrolling through pictures, for example).

5. Make it easy to donate

This means a donate button that is as accessible as possible. Yes, we know this seems obvious, but take the time to think like your audience and ask whether or not the button is both convenient and eye catching to ensure maximum retention of potential donors.

If this seems daunting, don’t fear – we are here to help!
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