The Importance of a Mobile-Friendly Website

David Ugale, Author
Written by David Ugale

Have you ever used your mobile phone to visit a website and found that it doesn’t look great on a small screen and loads really slow? That’s not a great first impression. If this is true about your company’s website, a potential customer might think that:

1) You are behind the times
2) You are not professional
3) You are a small-time business

For these reasons, and many others, a lot of companies have already made sure that their website is mobile-friendly: it looks good and loads quickly on mobile devices. As mobile devices become more and more popular, ensuring that your website works well on mobile isn’t just a luxury, but a requirement.

Search Engine Rankings and Mobile Traffic

Whether your site is mobile-friendly or not will also influence your search engine rankings. Beginning in April 2015, Google began using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in mobile search results. According to Google, this “will have a significant impact” on search results.

Consequently, having a website with a bad user experience on mobile devices could have a very negative effect on your mobile traffic and could heavily influence the type of action that a website visitor might ultimately take.

Most likely, someone will check out your mobile website and decide that it isn’t worth the effort and move on to another website – your competitor, perhaps. These days, we are now accustomed to getting information quickly and easily. We don’t have the patience for websites that are too hard to read or don’t load quickly.

Update: as of March 26, 2018, Google has rolled out mobile-first indexing which means that they will be using the mobile version of website pages for indexing and ranking to better help mobile users find the content that they are looking for.


Obviously, making your website look good on mobile devices has become increasingly important. What can you do to make sure that your website looks good on smaller screens? Here are a couple of options:

1. Update your existing website to work better on mobile devices

Depending on how your website was built, this might be the easiest and quickest way to handle this problem, but probably not a good long-term solution. This approach would involve taking your existing website code and making enough adjustments so that it works better on mobile devices. Ideally, you might be able to update a few templates and have your website appear reasonably well on mobile devices.

However, if your website was built without any type of CMS (Content Management System) or framework, this might end up being a lot of work. Updating each individual page of a large website can become tedious and time-consuming.

2. Redo your website with a mobile-first approach

Redoing your website is a better long-term solution, but would probably involve a lot of work. Basically, you would need to redesign your website so that it is mobile-friendly from the beginning. Of course, you could still retain your existing content, but it would need to be incorporated into your new website layout.

Again, the complexity of this task would depend on how your website was originally built. However, it might also be a good opportunity to freshen the look of your website. This could potentially be a large project, but it is probably the cleanest and best approach for the future of your website.

Bootstrap is an open source toolkit commonly used to make a responsive site that is mobile-friendly. A responsive website that utilizes responsive web design is a web development approach that allows a website to adapt in appearance based on the screen size and orientation of the device that is viewing it.

In addition to improving the mobile experience for your website, you’ll also need to make sure that your website loads fast. A key element of a mobile-friendly website is page speed. Typical websites designed for the desktop are not optimized for the slower loading speed of a mobile device, so you’ll need to ensure that your website works well in both formats. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great tool for testing your website page performance and providing some helpful recommendations.

In conclusion, making your website work well on mobile devices will probably be a significant undertaking no matter how you approach it. However, having a mobile-friendly website has now become a necessity to be able to compete in today’s growing mobile world. Companies that haven’t made the switch will be left behind.

To check if your website is considered mobile-friendly, you can try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Originally published February 6th, 2018, updated November 4th, 2022