It’s no surprise to anyone to see that mobile usage has been skyrocketing the past few years. According to a report putout by Morgan Stanley, 2015 will see the long anticipated reign of mobile web browsing. Even with all this compelling data at our finger tips many businesses are falling behind with a vast majority of websites still not mobile-friendly. This causes a headache for their users, but it also results in lots of lost opportunities and potential revenue.
Being easily accessible on the web for computer users is important, but today more then ever it’s even more important to provide those same philosophies to mobile users.
Both serve the same purpose but differ in how they deliver.
Mobile design is built on a template that is on a completely different entity of your domain (.com). This approach often requires you to second, mobile friendly website on a subdomain. For example, if you’ve browsed on your mobile device you’ve probably noticed at some point visiting an address like http://m.website.com. Mobile templates are built for a specific site and not a specific screen size which can cause some issues with user experience.
On the other hand, responsive design requires only one website. The design itself is coded to adjust itself to different screen sizes no matter what device you’re using to view it on. Since 2010, it’s been far more popular when designing for mobile.
It isn’t much of a surprise. About 8% of the average users day is spent staring at their mobile screen. Mobile usage is expected to dominate internet usage in 2015, and it won’t slow down moving into the future. There is a huge opportunity for those businesses who take advantage of this while it’s still in infancy (technically). Still, for your reference.
A recent study suggests that users who land on a poorly designed mobile website get frustrated when they can’t find what they’re looking for. Around 61% of these users leave immediately and visit another (your competition) website. Providing positive experience results in a 67% chance that consumers are likely to buy your product or service and return to contribute to ongoing business.
Social is now the number one activity on the internet. The average North American spends more time browsing social media sites than any other internet activity…including email. With 60% of all traffic coming from a mobile device, it’s important to provide a mobile design. Keep in mind though that it should work well with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, etc.
Why is this important?
The added value of sharing your mobile website through social media at the click of a button can drive traffic like no other medium.
There’s not much else you need to know. Google itself has declared themselves that their search engine prefers responsive design over mobile. Having a single URL to crawl makes it easier for Google Bot to crawl properly and index your site. This typically makes it easier on them as opposed to having to crawl and index two sites on different sub domains. Not to mention this limits the work for you or your web administrator.
The technology of responsive design will ultimately stay the same. As is the case with technology, we’ll ultimately see improvements that we can use to tweak along the way, but the philosophy stays the same.
A big benefit to responsive design is its adaptation to any screen size. Being a web developer, I’ve battled with cross browser issues quite a long time, but the beauty of designing responsively is its design is based on screen size, not device. That means no matter what device or screen size your visitor is viewing your web site on it will (it should) display properly for that device. Moving forward that should prevent any new devices from having problems.
Whether you’ve got an existing web site or are contemplating building a new one, you need to understand that the future is in responsive design. So many businesses still to this day haven’t taken the next step in this web evolution because they think this is just a feature.
Google itself looks at responsive design as an important component in their ranking factors. This should show businesses that this isn’t a nice feature, it’s a necessity that can impact the growth of your business.