Why you should have a responsive website

Dec 14, 2016 | Business

Nowadays, everyone is on their phone. According to ExpressPigeon, over 50% of smartphone users grab their phone immediately after waking up! That’s crazy! But admittedly, I also do it!

Personally, I use my phone for everything. Emails, social media, shopping, browsing the web… Statistics show that 52.7% of global internet users access the internet via a mobile.

In an age where there are over 1 billion websites, you need to make sure your website is up to scratch, whatever device it’s being viewed on, to avoid a visitor leaving and going to one of the many other websites available.

If visitors to your website have to zoom and scroll to see your full website on their mobile, then it’s safe to say you need a website upgrade.

What is the difference between mobile sites and responsive sites?

To be honest, I find a lot of mobile sites just really annoying. They don’t always match the desktop version (not a necessity, just a personal annoyance!) and they often lack in usability.

Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of great mobile sites out there but in my personal opinion, it’s easier, and nicer (for workload, usability and appearance!), to make your website responsive so that it adapts to different screen sizes and is still consistent across different screens.

Mobile sites are built completely separate from the main desktop site. Have you noticed when you go to a website on your mobile phone, sometimes it redirects to something like m.website.co.uk rather than just website.co.uk? That’s because the mobile site is built on a separate directory, and is therefore almost like building and maintaining a whole other website!

Using a responsive design, rather than a separate mobile site, means that you’ll just have one site and it has to be coded differently for different screens. It sounds complicated, but when you use a responsive theme, the work is done for you.

Google prefers responsive design!

In April 2015, Google announced that they were adapting their mobile-friendly search algorithm so that mobile friendly websites would rank higher in their mobile search results. If users are searching on their mobile, it makes sense to be shown websites that work well on a mobile!

So if your website isn’t mobile friendly, don’t expect to get very high up in mobile searches! Use Google’s mobile-friendly tool to check whether your website is mobile friendly.

According to MicKinsey & Company, Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead!

Responsive = future proof

If you’re familiar with my work, you’ll know that I work primarily with WordPress. Most WordPress themes now are responsive by default, and if they’re not, use a different theme!

Responsive design is based on screen size (e.g. 768-980px to cater for tablets in portrait mode or 1100-1405px to cater for laptops and desktops), rather than being based on specific devices. With these ever changing screen sizes on mobiles and tablets, you can be sure that the website will display correctly.

Test, test, test!

Test your website on as many devices as you can. Try it on your laptop, tablet and mobile. Or if you use Google Chrome, use their Developer Tools to test the website. Find out how here .

Another good tool to use to test your website is http://ami.responsivedesign.is

Ok, I’m switching to the responsive design!

If you use WordPress, I thoroughly recommend Divi by Elegant Themes! It’s a great responsive theme that can be adapted to almost any layout. It may take a little while to get used to, but there’s plenty of videos and documentation to teach you how to use it.

If that all sounds a bit too complicated or time-consuming, get in touch for a quote to build or adapt your website so that it’s responsive.

If you need more information on how to build a mobile-friendly site, check out Google’s guide on mobile site design here.

Make sure you also read my blog post, top tips for creating a website that gets more customers, as the information in the article applies to your mobile site too.

AmberHi, I’m Amber! I am a website designer specialising in creating beautiful and results-focused websites using WordPress. I live and breathe business and creativity and can’t wait to share some of that with you. Read more here

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