07 Aug Why are Mobile Friendly Websites Important? What is Responsive Design?
Why is having a Mobile Friendly Responsive Website Important?
1.3 Billion…. that’s the number of smart phones in the world right now according to Phone Count. And more then 10 new smartphones are being purchased per a SECOND.
The numbers just don’t lie, these days people no longer just use their desktops and laptops to access the Internet. They also are using their cell phones and tablets.
The Problem: One Size does not Fit all Screens
Obviously, cell phones have a much smaller screen then your laptops. So if you’ve ever tried viewing a website on your smart phone you’ve found it to be frustrating to say the least.
The reason behind this is because the traditional way of making websites is to make it in one size. Now as I’m sure as you know from your one-size-fits-all experiences in life (shoes,pants, shirts) it normally doesn’t work out so well and can leave you well… uncomfortable.
If you wanted a mobile friendly version of your website, you would have to spend time and money building a second website version of your website sized specifically for mobile devices. So for every screen size there is, you’d have to build another website. Can you image how expensive that would become over time? Ridiculous!
So with the new devices flooding into the market with their various screen sizes website designers saw that there was no way they could keep up with all the various screen sizes. So they began to ask, why not have ONE website that automatically adjusts the size to whatever device you’re using?
The Solution: Responsive Design
A responsive website design adjusts the page to whatever device you are using. The primary purpose of responsive design is to optimize the viewing experience for anyone no matter what device they are using.
It can be hard to visualize, but it looks a little something like the picture to the right.
What does this mean for you?
Cell phones aren’t going anywhere. If you’ll be upgrading your website soon, factor in adding responsive design.
Is Responsive Design just a Trend?
Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year and majority of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smart phones.
The total number of people using the web on mobile devices is set to surpass desktops by 2015.
Unless you are considering getting rid of your smart phone or tablet anytime soon, responsive sign is going no where. Mashable even said 2013 is the Year of Responsive Design
Responsive Design FAQ:
What’s the difference between a Responsive Website and creating a Mobile App for my website?
A Mobile App has to be downloaded from the App Store to be used on your smart phone or tablet. A Responsive website does not need to download software to your phone- you can simply visit it from your Internet browser on your phone or tablet. As such if your concern is how your website is viewed on your phone- a responsive design would be the best solution.
How do I know if my website is responsive?
If you currently don’t own a smart phone or tablet visit your local Best Buy or Apple store and visit your website on these devices. Check and see if your website fills the entire screen. Do you have to zoom in to read text? Is the navigation menu easy to navigate on your phone? If not, your website is most likely not responsive.
How do I factor in Responsive Design for my upcoming project?
Ask your website designer if the theme they plan on using will be responsive. If you’re paying someone for a completely custom theme, ask them to include in your quote a responsive design. Yes, it will probably be an additional investment but it will save you a great deal of resources if in several years you’ll have to build a completely new website due to not being able to see it on my devices.
Should I get rid of my current website in favor of a responsive design?
There is no right or wrong answer and you should definitely consult with a Website Designer before making a final decision. A lot of it depends on the technology that you’re currently using. If you’re currently using WordPress the switch may be easier and less time consuming for your designer depending on your theme.
I’m currently using WordPress, I don’t want to change my theme- how can I make my website responsive?
I definitely suggest consulting with a WordPress Website Developer, it is possible to edit certain themes to make them responsive.
Can you recommend a WordPress Plugin to make my website Responsive?
I’ve tried out numerous WordPress Plugins to make a Website Responsive and currently have been unable to find a complete solution I’d feel comfortable recommending. What it all comes down to, is your theme. Your theme controls the look and feel of your website and as such editing you theme or switching to a responsive theme is currently the best solution.