Is your website ready for the Tablet Revolution? Unless you are one of those Doomsday Preppers and you’ve been living in your bug out bunker for the past few weeks, you know iPad 3 just hit the market, and people are going crazy over it. It’s only taken a few years, but the release of Apple’s iPad, among all of the other tablets, has created a new HUGE trend that website owners need to be aware of. The Tablet Revolution, as some are referring to it, has cause many website owners to rethink their website design and layout. Earlier you could simply build a website for desktops and laptops. Then mobile smart phones came along and changed everything. Many website owners now have a mobile version of their website ready for any visitors who decide to stop by from their mobile phones. Well, it’s time to update your website yet again, this time for tablet owners. In this article we are going to cover why it’s important for your website to be tablet ready, talk about some Do’s and Don’ts, provide some example companies who are making sure their website is tablet ready, and provide you with the tools and resources that you need to create a tablet-ready version of your website.
Why is it Important to Make Your Website Tablet Ready
International Data Corporation predicts that by 2015 more U.S. Web users will access the Internet through mobile devices than by using personal computers. 2015 is only a few years away and obviously in order for this to come true, the trend between now and then is UP. Think about it. How many times have you gone to a website from your smart phone only to realize it’s clunky and you cannot navigate through the site easily? How long do you stay on that website? How often do you return? Using that same philosophy, now think about what tablet users will do if they hit your website and it’s not tablet ready. With more and more consumers using the Internet from their tablets, it’s critical that you take some time to update your website as soon as possible.
Do’s and Don’ts for Creating a Tablet Ready Website
Now that you realize how critical it is to create a tablet ready website, let’s go over some Do’s and Don’ts. Let’s start with the Don’ts.
If you’re doing the following, your website is not tablet ready:
- Don’t include Flash if you want your website to work on iPad.
- Don’t have too many clickable areas (links, etc.) too close to one another. Make sure your navigation is easy to find and easy to interact with.
- Don’t have too much media cluttering your site. Photos and videos are great, but too many on any given page can make the site looked cluttered and could possibly even cause loading issues.
In order to make sure your website is tablet friendly, here are a few things that you can do:
- Access your current website from a tablet to see where the hang ups are, what looks good and what doesn’t, and what the overall experience is. Take notes and brainstorm ideas for making your website function better on tablets, while maintaining its functionality for laptops and desktop computers.
- Add more “on the go” content and information. One of the biggest advantages of tablets are that they can come everywhere with you. Tablet users are mobile and that could mean that they are looking for more “mobile-related” content. Think links to Google Maps, your contact information, etc.
- Make sure your website font can be easily read from a tablet. Glare and lighting, as well as, a smaller screen size can make certain websites hard to read from a tablet. Usually laptops and desktops are set up and used inside and in well lit areas. Again, tablets are mobile which means lighting is going to be an issue more often for tablet users. Update your website font style, color, and size if you need to.
Following the steps above will help you get started updating your website to be more tablet friendly.
Example Websites that Have Become Tablet Friendly
In just under 2 years, the release of Apple’s iPad has created an unimaginable amount of change across a multitude of industries. With more and more people surfing the Internet on tablets like iPad, more and more businesses are taking notice. Here are a few examples of big companies who have made their website tablet ready.
- Amazon.com – In 2011 Amazon made a huge push into the mobile space with the release of their Windowshop iPad app and with their new look website. Brennon Slattery of PCWorld commented, “the new look and feel of Amazon.com screams tablet. It has a lot more white space, the messy sidebar on the left is gone, the search bar is enlarged for touchscreen fingertip use, and the product photos are easily clickable icons”.
- Utah Government – Last August the state of Utah released an updated tablet ready website to make interacting with their website easier for tablet users.
- Nike – Nike has updated their website to fully take advantage of the tablet interface. Nike’s website is one of the very best examples of a tablet ready website.
As this new tablet trend gets a little old we are going to see more and more businesses begin to overhaul their website to ensure tablet users can easily navigate and interact with their website.
Tablet Ready WordPress Themes
Are you running WordPress for your website? If so, then you’re very familiar with WordPress themes. There are millions of free and paid version of WordPress themes out there for you to choose from. That said, as of today, there aren’t a ton of WordPress themes that will allow you to have a website that looks good on laptops and tablets. If you’re running WordPress and want a theme that you can install in order to create a tablet ready website, here are a few good ones to choose from:
- – Make your blog look beautiful on tablet web browsers in under 3 minutes.
- MobilePRO – A beautiful professional WordPress theme for mobile devices. However, it looks great on any computer screen.
- Mobility – An iPad-ready WordPress theme with finger sliding capabilities and a custom drag-and-drop gallery admin.
Tools and Resources to Create a Tablet Ready Website
Converting your website into a tablet friendly environment sooner rather than later is something that can separate you from your competitors. We will end this article with links to various resources and tools that you might want to check out if you want to take advantage of the Tablet Revolution and create a tablet ready website.
- Pressly automatically makes online publications as beautiful and touchable as native apps when visited on tablet web browsers.
- For anyone looking to learn a little more about what the future holds for Tablet e-Commerce I highly recommend checking out Zmags recently released ebook entitled, “Mobile and Tablet e-Commerce: Is Anyone Really Ready?”.
- Learning HTML5 would be a great skill to have if you’re thinking of making your website more tablet ready. Todd Anglin said, “virtually all modern devices with a web browser have broad support for the technologies defined by HTML5, like Video, Geolocation, Offline Apps, Local Storage, and CSS3 styling, making them the perfect target for aggressive HTML5 development.
Now that you have more information on why it’s some important for you to update your website tablet ready design and navigation, do you think it’s something that you’ll make a priority over the next 6 – 12 months? At the very least, open your website on a tablet to see what it looks like and how easy it is to navigate. Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Ryan Taft is a twenty-something entrepreneur with a passion for helping small businesses use online marketing tools to reach more customers and prospects, build relationships with those folks, and ultimately grow sales.