Website Works on Computer but Not on Phone: 8 Reasons Why

Here are 8 reasons why a website works on your computer but not on your phone:

More often than not, this is caused by a poorly designed website or one that isn’t mobile-friendly.

If a website is not working on your phone, but it was working on your computer, then it is definitely a fault on the website’s end.

However, you should check your internet connection just in case. 

If you want to know all about why your website works on your computer but not on your phone, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

Website Works on Computer but Not on Phone: 8 Reasons Why

Why Does a Website Work on Your Computer but Not on Your Phone?

So, websites open without an issue on your computer browser but won’t load on your phone? 

This is a common issue with smaller websites.

The reason behind this can depend upon a variety of different factors. 

But more often than not, this usually happens because the website is not designed well, or it is not designed with mobile phones in mind.

So, if a website is not working on your phone, but it worked on your computer, it is definitely a fault on the website’s end and not yours. 

But just in case, check your internet connection. 

A website not opening on your phone could be because you were not connected to the internet. 

In this article, I will go through some of the common reasons this happens. 

#1 Website Is Not Designed With Mobile Phones in Mind

One of the most common reasons websites don’t work with mobile phones is because they are not designed to do so. 

A lot of the time, developers make websites with just computer browsers in mind. 

So, when a mobile phone tries to access the website, it can’t load the website. 

This can be very common with smaller websites that don’t expect a large audience or amount of traffic. 

Think of your friend hosting a small website from his dorm room. 

He probably didn’t want to go through the effort to make that website compatible with mobile phones. 

Similarly, other small-scale websites don’t have the resources to make their websites more mobile phone compatible. 

On the other hand, technology and services around websites and web pages have also improved considerably in the last decade or so. 

And making websites that work with smartphones isn’t as hard or resource-intensive as it used to be. 

#2 Web Browser on Your Mobile Phone Has an Issue

One of the first things you should do when a website is not working on your mobile phone is to try opening the website on a different web browser. 

More often than not, the web browser could be the issue. 

This can especially be an issue with stock web browsers that come with the phone. 

These web browsers don’t have as much support as established web browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox do. 

So not using the correct browser might also be an issue. 

Thankfully this problem can easily be checked and fixed. 

Just download another browser on your mobile phone and try to open the same website there. 

If it works on the other browser, it means that the first browser has some issues or bugs. 

#3 Website Has Slow Mobile Web Pages

Another common reason that a particular website may not work on your mobile phone is that it has slow load times. 

Google recommends that a website should take no more than 3 seconds to load.

But let’s say a website is taking more than 10 or even 15 seconds. This is too much time in cyberspace. 

A lot of users don’t wait this long for a website to load. 

And when a webpage is taking too long to load, most users either refresh or try again.

But consistent slow loading times would mean that the website would give an appearance of not working at all. 

A lot of browsers also show an error if a particular website doesn’t load up on time.

#4 Website Isn’t Optimized for Mobile-First Indexing

Indexing is when search engines like Google or Bing catalog and store all the websites on the internet. 

This is done because when you search something on Google, it can easily match what you are looking for with the website that is offering what you are looking for. 

But a lot of websites today make separate websites for computers and mobile phones. 

Since there are two websites now optimized for different devices. 

So, when you visit a website made for a computer, it will not work properly. 

Whenever developers make separate websites for separate devices, they also make sure to make it recognizable for Google so that it may show the mobile website to mobile users and computer website to computer users. 

But when developers don’t do this, Google can’t tell the two websites apart. 

So, it might end up leading you to a website that is not optimized for your device. 

This is what it means when someone says the website is not optimized for mobile-first indexing. 

#5 Website Isn’t Mobile Responsive

So, what does it mean when a website isn’t mobile responsive? 

Well, simply put, it means the website doesn’t scale or resize properly for different devices and screen sizes. 

Modern websites need to be responsive to all the different kinds of devices and device sizes. 

And when websites aren’t optimized for mobile phones, it can create problems. 

And these problems can include the website not even opening on your phone. 

Developers need to create layouts and designs with different devices in mind. 

Otherwise, chaos may ensue. Things may not align, and the website might look weird. 

This is usually why the website for mobile phones and websites for a computer are developed separately.

#6 Mobile Phone Hardware Limitations 

Mobile phone hardware limitations can also be why a particular website is not working on your phone. This is more often than not a fault on the developer’s side. 

Sometimes websites are not optimized for mobile phones and send in too much data. 

This data can overwhelm your mobile phone, and this might be why your mobile phone isn’t showing you the website.

A common occurrence is when a website pushes out heavy CSS transitions to the clients. 

CSS is the language in which a website communicates with your device about the visuals of the website. 

So, everything from what images to show to what color the text is. All of this is done via CSS. 

If the data being sent by the website to the mobile phone is too much, the website won’t open on the mobile phone. 

#7 Website Is Not Using Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Content Delivery Networks are web servers that deliver data to any client. In our case that would be a mobile phone. 

CDNs are a modern solution for providing quick and easy access to websites. 

CDNs use different servers distributed geographically, so that end users can access data from the server nearest to them.

This helps websites to load faster and reduces any chance of website errors. 

But a lot of websites don’t use CDNs. As CDNs usually cost money and it can be very expensive for some websites to pay for CDNs. 

In these cases, a website might not work properly on your mobile phone. 

#8 Your Phone Has Internet Connection Issues 

Sometimes a website not opening could simply mean that your device is currently having a hard time connecting to the internet. 

This can be true, especially if you are using a cellular network connection and the internet connection is a little dodgy in your area.

If a website is not opening on your phone. Just make sure other websites are opening as well. 

Maybe you are not connected to the internet, or maybe the connection is too slow to open anything. 

People usually just try to open for a simple test. 

Why Does a Website Works on a Phone but Not a Computer?

Do you wonder why it might be the other way around, a website works on your phone but not on your computer?

In most cases, this is due to a local problem with the computer, such as not having internet access.

Specific differences between using a phone and computer may cause a website to load only on one device.

The design of the site, your browser, and how your device connects can make a difference.

Learn all about why a website works on your phone but not your computer here.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

    View all posts