A report by Statista claims that in the second quarter of 2020, mobile devices alone have generated around 51.53 percent of the global website traffic and the share of mobile traffic is expected to increase sevenfold in numbers by 2022 compared to the 2017 mark.
It might seem to be a hefty task testing your website for all the viewports having different screen dimensions one by one, and believe me, it is a hectic one. In this article, I am going to discuss how you can test the responsiveness of your website in 7 easy steps. In case you are not sure about website responsiveness and how it actually works, you can refer to our article on Responsive Web Design to gain in-depth insights on the topic.
But before we dive into the steps, let’s first discuss what problems can arise if you don’t adopt a responsive design for your website.
- The majority of handheld devices like mobiles and tablets use touch screen features rather than a mouse pointer to navigate. Hence, you need to design your website in such a way that it could adapt itself for both.
- Maintaining equal load times for both mobile and desktop resolutions. Due to improper scaling of media objects, load times may vary for mobile and desktop devices.
- Usually, to create a responsive web design is time-consuming and requires a lot of testing on different screen dimensions and resolutions.
- Content placement becomes a major problem due to a lack of space in mobile devices. Suppose, you might keep important stuff on a sidebar on your website which would be easily visible in the desktop version, but for the same in the mobile version, it might get shifted to the bottom of the website and your visitors might miss out on important information.
Keeping this in mind, let’s dive deep into 7 easy steps to test your website responsiveness. At the end of this article, we will discuss a one-stop solution that would solve all your responsive testing problems.
1. Pointer vs Touch
For handheld devices such as mobile phones or tablets, users would navigate through the website using touch sensors. You need to make sure that all the tappable areas should be visible and respond well. Thus, it becomes important to test your website responsiveness for both pointer and touch versions.
You can easily test your website responsiveness for handheld touch devices using the LT browser’s touch scrolling feature. Using this simple feature, you can switch onto the touch mode and can navigate through your device in the same way you would be doing it on your mobile using the touch feature.
2. Responsive Testing on different Network Profiles
It’s obvious that not all the users have a connection to the high speed internet. In fact, a large segment of your user base might suffer from internet bandwidth issues and you should optimize your website in such a way that even the one with the lowest bandwidth should have a seamless experience with your website.
If you are a web developer, you might have heard of a term called Network Throttling. It is the intentional slowdown of internet or network speed in order to help you determine the response time or loading time of your website for different internet speeds.
If you are using responsive design for your website, you might allow preloading of some objects in your webpage. For example, you might include lazy loading of images on your website so that it can load up the text and other useful content of your website quickly and while the image is loading, the visitors can surf through the rest of the page.
An easy way to test the responsiveness of your website on different bandwidths is to use the LT browser’s network throttling feature which allows you to configure your network speed to 4 different profiles which include online, fast 3G, slow 3G, and offline profiles.
3. Form Check
At this point, you have made sure that your website is well responsive to varying network bandwidths and touch responses. One of the most important components of your website is the contact form as it allows you to connect with your potential customers. Forms and all the other input fields should be well responsive on all the device dimensions whether it is a handheld device or a Desktop. You need to make sure that the input boxes are neither too small nor does it cross the edge of the screen.
A simple trick is to use the rotate feature of the mobile device to check whether the input fields remain readable and intact or not.
LT browser’s rotate feature makes it easy-peasy-lemon-squeezed to perform responsive testing and checking out your webpage’s form, media and content alignment and comparing them with multiple devices.
4. Content Placement
Now that you have structurally optimized your website to be well responsive, still you might be behind in the race. This is because of the way you place your content. Your content should be placed in such a way that it actually makes sense to your visitors. What I mean by that is, your content hierarchy should be in such a way that it should depict the way you want your visitors to interact with your website.
Here are some points which you need to consider while placing your content.
- Make sure that the most important block of content is the first thing your visitors see on your website.
- Your content should be well-formatted and easy to read for both desktop and mobile users.
- A block of content placed at a particular position on your desktop site might not work well in the same position for your mobile view.
- Media-text format (Image or video on one side and text on the other) works well for desktop views but performs poorly on the mobile view.
- Instead of using long paragraphs, try using bullet points. They work like a charm for both desktops as well as mobile users.
- Take the utmost care of your ad placement as they might misalign your content placement.
The main challenge which arises while you are reviewing your content placement is to make sure that the placement works well for all the viewport dimensions. Checking these on different devices one by one might be a hefty task.
LT browser allows you to add multiple devices out of a collection of 27+ devices and allows you to compare your website responsiveness and content placement on all these devices. On the off-chance that you don’t find your favorite device, you can create your own custom device by specifying custom dimensions.
5. Responsive testing for long form content.
Another problem with the Content Placement is that, if you use long form content (2000+ words) for your articles, you might find it very difficult to position your content to create a responsive design. Mobile view offers very less space for viewing the content when compared to a desktop view. The same becomes a problem while you are performing responsive testing on your website with long form content.
In order to compare web pages with long form content, you can use LT Browser’s “Screenshot Full Page” feature to take a screenshot of the entire webpage and then compare them across multiple devices.
6. Scroll Syncing for faster Responsive Testing.
By now, you have learned some important steps to test the structure of your website in such a way that it becomes well responsive for all the viewports. However, wouldn’t it be great if you would be able sync your scroll across all the devices so that scrolling on one device would scroll the same amount on others?
The benefits of scroll syncing your responsive testing on multiple devices are –
- You would now be able to perform your testing a lot faster.
- You would get a better view of your content on multiple mobile devices to compare each of them.
- When you sync your scroll on all testing devices, you can compare the same media or content objects on your webpage at the same time but on different devices throughout the entire page.
- You can compare your ad placements to get that right placement position and ad size to maximize your earnings.
Once again, LT Browser comes to the rescue with its Scroll Sync feature. Using this, you can synchronize your scroll with multiple devices which increase your efficiency in testing your website’s responsiveness.
7. Complete Website Auditing
After you have performed structural changes and optimized your website for better content placement to enhance your website responsiveness, you can now perform a complete audit of your website in order to get a bird’s-eye view of your website performance.
You can get a complete report of your website for both mobile and desktop views using LT browser’s Audit feature inside the debug panel. You can get a detailed report of the performance, SEO, accessibility and the best practices you need to adopt in order to make your website stand out among others.
In order to ensure the best experience for your website visitors and to increase the percentage of returning visitors, you need to make sure that you provide seamless experience to all your users. No doubt that the share of internet traffic right now favor’s mobile traffic and this number is only going to increase several folds in the near future and that too very rapidly. Gaining traction in your website is very difficult and you don’t want to lose your visitors just because your image was not aligned properly with your content.
The LT browser desktop application by Lambda test provides you with all the sets of tools that you would need to perform responsive testing on your website and make your website mobile friendly. It’s a one-stop solution that would provide you with all the features that you could have hoped for in a single tool. You can download the tool from here and is available for all the major OS platforms including Mac OS, Windows and Linux/Ubuntu.
Congratulations! You have now successfully mastered all the necessary skills and tools you would require in order to test and improve the responsiveness of your website.