5 Free Ways To Test Your Site For Mobile Capability
If you’re wondering what to focus on as you invest in building your online business or brand, the importance of mobile optimization cannot be emphasized enough. As ecommerce has been on the rise, so has the use of mobile devices to browse and make purchases online. Leading researchers predict mobile sales to be in the tens of billions by 2016, and that’s just in the U.S. market. Fortunately there are several websites through which you may test your own site’s mobile capability, so that you may experience your site as a potential customer might. Below are five FREE websites that simulate various mobile displays. To test the sites firsthand, I will be using my own, recently built, HTML 5 portfolio for professional photography. Let’s see how it holds up!
The first service to be tested is Gomez, which offers results in a 1-100 scale format and advice on how to fix the problems it encounters. One thing worth mentioning is the fact that you must enter your contact information to receive their evaluation, and results can take up to 24 hours to receive via email. I received my results within 30 minutes, but when I was redirected to my results page, Gomez failed to load anything more than a screencapture of my homepage. In the end, I exchanged my contact information for zero results. As there are plenty other free services on the web, I would recommend avoiding Gomez.
As opposed to Gomez, MobiReady does not require any contact info, and results are instantaneous. It provides an overall numerical rating, followed by a detailed breakdown of your site’s performance in fields such as load speed, scripts, page size, and cache information. It also explains the importance of each category of evaluation, warning you that certain features overlooked on your site could lead to slower load times, constant resizing or redirecting, and therefore added cost and wait time for your mobile visitor. MobiReady also identifies precisely where your site can be fixed, so that you may quickly correct your problem codes and images. It should be noted that MobiReady does not offer visualization for any smartphone or touch screen models, focusing instead on older Nokia and Samsung phones.
Provided by Google, Gomometer tests your site for smartphone usage through a simple questionnaire. It also narrows its evaluation of your site by first establishing its business category, i.e. is your business online-only, multichannel, etc. Gomometer shows you the appearance of your homepage on a smartphone as soon as you enter the url, and after a few questions gives you a rating on a 1-6 scale, followed by a simple, easy to understand breakdown of loading speed, text, images, and navigation. You can then download a pdf (at no extra cost) that includes useful tips and enterprise ecommerce solutions. My report stated that my site loads more quickly than average and is thumb-friendly, but could be improved by including videos or animations supported by HTML 5. Overall, the Gomometer experience was very user friendly, and a great option for beginner web designers.
Responsinator was developed with efficiency, relevance, and humor in mind, which happen to be three of my favorite things ever. Within one page, you can enter your url and immediately view your homepage on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle displays for both portrait and landscape orientations. Links are sparse but useful, and if you want to show your appreciation for Responsinator’s service, you can make a paypal payment to the site’s designers. The site is quick and easy, however it does not offer any evaluation of your site’s mobile optimization or advice on how to make corrections. It will also slow down your computer’s performance as it loads several displays of your site on one page. Responsinator is not a comprehensive mobile site evaluator, but it succeeds in offering a no fuss view of your website on today’s most popular devices.
5. Matt Kersley Responsive
Similarly to Responsinator, this site gets right to the point. You type your url and, without any redirecting, your homepage appears in resolutions ranging from 240 to 1024 (portrait orientation only). You can then click through your website’s various pages and menus within each screen size. You can also choose to view your site in width size only or in dimensions that approximately correlate with various mobile devices (eg. 240×320 ppi is described as a “small phone” dimension). Because Matt Kersley Responsive acknowledges that its simulations are inexact, I would not recommend solely using emulator services like this one to get an idea of your site’s mobile capability. Use actual devices when you can, and refer to sites like MobiReady and Gomometer for personalized advice on how to design your site for mobile optimization. The more resources you utilize to test your website, the better prepared you will be for the mobile commerce boom that is just around the corner.
Renee Floyd is a business and technology writer and visual artist born and raised in Silicon Valley, making her opinions innately well informed. Lucky you!
Image Credit: 1.