Back in October 2016 a milestone was reached which meant the way people used the internet had changed forever.
In October 2016, the Guardian newspaper reported more people were accessing the internet on smartphones and tablets compared to traditional desktop computers or workstations.
With several well-known industry representatives reportedly confirming the findings it was confirmed globally 51% of internet users were using a mobile device to access the internet with other means coming in at 49%. This means that more than half of all internet usage is no done on mobile phones and tablet computers.
Depending on how you analyse the results against your target demographics and industry sectors it is still painfully clear a change is happening.
It is now more important than ever for your website to be mobile device friendly.
So, what is a responsive website?
A responsive website design adapts the page layout based on the screen size of the user’s device. A responsive website design will work just as well for someone using a desktop computer, smartphone, tablet or Smart TV.
We have detailed a few reasons to consider a responsive design for your website;
Regardless of the device your website visitor is using, you can ensure the website layout is suitable.
While smartphones do have the ability to zoom using multi-touch gestures navigation can still be very difficult as entire sections of the website can be cropped from the screen when zooming in.
When using responsive designs, all parts of the website layout are formatted to the users device. For example, buttons on smartphone devices are bigger to aid the use of finger gestures, text is adjusted to aid ease of use & all of this leads to the end user using the website correctly.
Since 2015 Google had been encouraging website developers and designers to take mobile devices into account when designing and building a website’s pages. It was later confirmed that in April 2015 that Google would start a process of ranking websites that were mobile friendly above those that were not.
As of November 2016 however, Google has gone a step further with it’s push on mobile friendly websites with the announcement that it would begin to experiment with mobile first indexing. This would mean Google will eventually solely look at a mobile version of your site for content. Users without responsive websites and poorly maintained mobile versions will be hit hard.
Using a responsive website design will speed up the time it takes for maintenance and any changes you make. If you have a separate version of the mobile website while this was an ideal alternative 2 - 3 years ago, it had it’s drawbacks. Updating both the desktop site and mobile site’s had to be done independently and took more time. This often lead to the mobile version missing out on key content due to time constraints.
Maintenance on responsive website designs are much simpler. One update will reflect across all layout versions at the same time. Leading to less maintenance times, increased speed of updates and therefore less errors.
The use of a single website increases your server’s performance. There is no delay in redirecting mobile visitors to a separate website and no need to hold duplicate content for different versions. The process of layout is offloaded to the client’s device where a simple set of rules tell the device how to display the content it has been given.
Just as fast as the technology people are using to access the internet the technology driving it is changing too. Responsive website design has fast become an industry standard technology. With the uptake of responsive websites growing how long will it be before it becomes compulsory nobody knows, however with the progress the industry has been making we’re sure it won’t be too long.
With Google already making headway with prioritising mobile friendly website’s. How long can you risk not adopting mobile friendly website design?
At WJStudio, all the website’s we build have a responsive layout to ensure the best performance possible for our customers. For more information on website design, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here or call us on 07855 546 255.