What is the fuss about responsive website design? How many online visitors actually visit your site using their mobile devices? In a recent study done by World Bank, a shocking 75% of consumers now search for and access websites on their mobile devices.
So what does this mean for your business. Your website will show up on their phones, right? Well, yes… but… if your website doesn’t have the built in “responsiveness” required, then what used to be a pretty spiffy website ends up looking like a dog’s breakfast. In fact, your dog’s breakfast will probably look more appealing that what the mobile phone version of your site gets coughed up as.
Although the technology in mobile phones are smart, sophisticated, and really intelligent, poorly designed websites simply cannot be processed. The mobile phone’s browser just interprets the information incorrectly, and your clients end up with a horrible mess of test, blocks of colours and huge images that they just have to keep scrolling past.
What is the best solution for this? Unfortunately, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. If your website was designed in the last 2-3 years, there is a chance that the designer left enough wiggle room for a mobile version to be implemented without any major headaches and downtime to the actual site.
However, the chances of this are 50/50. Either your previous web-developer knew that your site would have to be mobile friendly either immediately or in the near future, and would have factored that in when developing, leaving nice little footholds for a mobile friendly version of your site to be attached too… or… they didn’t. If they didn’t… well, that type of developer usually wouldn’t have left any wiggle room at all, making the task of now converting your site to a mobile friendly version more hassle than a simple redesign.
Which is what should actually be recommended. Websites that have been around for a few years have already accumulated good SEO by just being there, and a redesign would let Google know that you new and exciting things to offer your clients. So a re-design could only bring good things.
Taking into account that 90% of all designs being designed at the moment have taken into account some form of mobile access, your safest bet would be a redesign. You get a new, snazzy look, and all your customers can find and easily access your site and your information from their smart phones.
At the moment, you basically have three options when it comes to making websites mobile friendly.
1) A fully responsive website. This is the best choice by far. With a fully responsive design, your website basically rearranges itself intelligently to suit whichever size screen it’s being viewed. A lot of this responsiveness can be seen if you change the size of your internet browser!
2) A mobile version of your website, running alongside the desktop version. This is a secondary option, and is usually more for companies that have different customer types on mobile devices than on desktops. It’s basically a second website, designed with the same branding and corporate identity as your existing website, but that has been optimised to suit a mobile device. When visiting your website using a mobile device, this second theme become active and overwrites the existing theme, changing the way your customers view the website.
3) An optimised website. This basically means that the design of the website does not alter on a mobile device, but that your website will be viewed in an identical fashion as on a desktop computer. The structure has been optimised so that no matter if it is viewed on a mobile device or a desktop computer, the results are the same. This is the last option, as some customers trying to view your website from a smaller device like an iPhone would still have difficulty making out some of the finer details of the site. However, it avoids your site being warped and smashed and becoming downright illegible.
All designs at Brilliant Creations Website Design have been optimised for mobile at the least, but most of our designs are fully responsive!
Head over to our portfolio section and check out the designs on your computer, then head over to your smartphone and run the same exercise. For those clients that didn’t opt for a responsive design, what they received as a bare minimum was the fact that the website translates into a very similar version of itself on a mobile device – no squashing, mixing or matching. A mini-website!
Now if your current website doesn’t conform to this modern audience… then you have to ask yourself
“Are you willing to lose out on that portion of clients which do access your website on their phones?”
Remember this number is steadily increasing, and it’s a certainty that a poorly designed website will be death of your company!