According to a Google study this year (2013), two thirds of smart phone users expect websites to cater for the device, providing as good a user experience as on their desktop.
And to add to this, Mashable suggested that 2013 will be ‘The year of responsive website design’. But such anticipation has not been matched- 45% of businesses still don’t even have a mobile site or app
The decision to have a mobile friendly website or a responsive website design can depend on whether you are a small business or a larger organisation and the type of business which you are in.
As a comparison, here are 3 functionalities of a mobile friendly website:
1. Redesign, rebrand or repurpose. With a unique mobile website the existing web presence can be changed on separate devices- the desktop version can be ‘reset’ to include the site’s interactive elements whilst excluding others. This means that a website can become a customized mobile experience. But take note, ensure that both sites are kept up-to-date, are brand compliant and has similar, if not the same, content. Your websites need to look like they are from the same business.
2. Streamlined content. The mobile website allows for more control over your website’s appearance and content. This avoids using additional codes to hide or reposition blocks.
3. Two URL’s will function as one. Even if your website is not fully responsive, when a smartphone user is accessing your site, they will automatically be directed to the desktop website. The functionality of it will mean that on the surface, it will look like you have two websites, but in reality you will just have the one.
And here are 5 benefits to a responsive website design, one which adapts to the screen size that the website is being displayed on.
1. Time. Time management is the be all and end all in this industry- everything takes time and website daily tasks are no exception. It takes time to develop the website content, update it, load new skins to it and offer the technical support. Imagine if you had TWO websites to manage and maintain. A responsive website, in essence, can halve the time spent because you have one website for all devices.
2. New technology. In essence, tablet usage has tripled over the last few years with 30% of the UK population using them and even smart phone usage has doubled to 62%. It makes you wonder; ‘what’s next?’ By responding to the evolving technology devices, your website will be well prepared for whatever new device is around the corner. This will mean that your one single responsive website will be displayed on any mobile device, at any time.
3. Page rankings. Search engine optimisation is a necessary requirement to increase your business rankings, increase traffic and increase conversions. It’s official. Google announced last year (June 2012) that responsive website design is the recommended configuration. This means that a single URL makes it easier for surfers to share and link your content, while assisting Google’s algorithms assign indexing properties.
4. Speed. A responsive website design will generally load a lot quicker. When a website has to cover both the desktop and mobile devices, the designer or developer will tend to build the site with minimal interactive components. This means that a quick response can be had by all- the internet surfer and ultimately the conversion rate
With this in mind, it may be worth asking yourself: “Is a responsive website design suitable for my business?”
If you are unsure whether your website is optimised for mobile, then check out PageSpeed Insights and see how fast your site is from Google. It’s a free resource and can give you an answer in seconds.
For help or advice on developing a website, contact us on 01454 261111 or alternatively visit the website.
Suggested reading: Designing For Mobile Websites Using Responsive Design is a whitepaper produced by DotNetNuke (DNN) – a content management system- which takes you through the steps on how to develop a responsive website.