Why you need a responsive website
Having a website that performs well on all devices is no longer an option for businesses. It is now a necessity.
The ubiquitous mobile phone (and tablet for that matter) are now an entrenched part of daily life. It’s amazing just how many people seem to be constantly glued to their devices (I know I’m guilty – ask my wife!); just look around (or up from your phone) when you walk down the street, while your sipping a double espresso before work, or sitting on the train after a long day at the desk. We live in a world of constant connectivity, and like it or not, it’s here to stay.
So what does this mean for business?
I’m glad you asked! First off I’ll let some hard stats on platform usage make my point for me – brought to you by the team at StatCounter
As you can see, Mobile phone and tablet usage now account for over 30% of all internet traffic in Australia.
Do you think that your business can afford to not address this? Would it be a wise decision to alienate 30% of your website users by not providing an acceptable experience? I’m really hoping that you answered no to both these questions!
Luckily there is a relatively pain free solution – make your website layout “responsive”. All this really means is that the layout of your site reacts to the user’s browser width. Once upon a time browser detection scripts were employed to work out what device a user was using, and would then serve up a variation of the website to suit. This meant having to design and build multiple sites and, as you can imagine, was often a time consuming and costly exercise. Well that was then, this is now!
Thanks to frameworks like Twitter’s Bootstrap (my favourite), Zurb’s Foundation and Skeleton (to name a few) we now have the ability to build one single website that works seamlessly across all devices. By utilising some fancy CSS (the code we use to apply styling to the website) we can now detect, on the fly, the width of the user’s browser and make the appropriate decision on where content should sit, how big text should appear and what elements should be changed to suit or completely hidden from view. Simple!
The beauty of having a “one size fits all” website is in it’s simplicity. One set of files to update when changes are required. One set of assets to pull in, meaning less resources and faster load times. It’s future proofing your site, no matter what size the next iPhone screen is – it’s easy to pop in another “breakpoint”, or screen width, and set layout accordingly.
Yet another reason to employ a mobile friendly website comes straight from the kings of search Google. The new and updated algorithm used to rank website pages in search results now has a “mobile friendly pages” factor added in (see official post here). It’s hard enough getting your site to rank as it is, and now you can be penalised for not addressing your mobile using customers!
I could go on and extol the benefits and necessity of having a website that works beautifully on all devices, but I think you get the picture. Over 30% of your customers use their phones or tablets to view your site. Are you looking after them?
Not a hard decision really is it…