The ability to have a mobile website is here. It’s exciting technology. Or maybe it would be better to say: these are exciting technolo-gies. Responsive web design is in its infancy, different providers are racing to market with differing platforms, and standards just haven’t been developed and adopted (VHS or Beta anyone?).
However, waiting to see what technologies win in the long term isn’t an option for companies that want to remain successful. With more and more users accessing the internet via mobile devices (by 2015, there will be one mobile device per person on earth!), companies must develop a solid strategy for the wide range of screen sizes. Having a site that is only compatible with desktop computers isn’t viable; mobile visitors simply will not navigate around your site the way they might on a desktop version of your site. They won’t wait for a big site to load—statistics show that 74% of mobile visitors will abandon a site if it takes more than 5 seconds to load. And they are in a hurry. If you make them work too hard on your site, they will leave rather than figure it out.
Almost 57% of users will never recommend a company with a bad website. Considering that more and more people are using mobiles to access internet, companies that do not have a good mobile website will suffer. –Compware research
What Is Responsive Web Design
A responsive design is a single website that adapts to pretty much any device, regardless of the screen size. Responsive design is the current gold standard of mobile design and we expect this will be the best approach for the foreseeable future.
Responsive web design basically means making a website—page by page—responsive (adaptable) to the device being used to view the page.
Responsive Web Design Advantages
Responsive design has a number of important advantages.
- One site—You only have one site to maintain. This means that content changes, url updates, programming changes, etc., only need to be made once. This can dramatically reduce the risk of errors and inconsistent information.
- Google endorsed—Google has been very clear that they recommend responsive design. This means that for the foreseeable future responsive web design will be the gold standard.
- SEO—Search Engine Optimization doesn’t just mean entering in great keywords or writing keyword-rich content. Search engine optimization means being found (consistently) by the search engines. With responsive design, your site gets the benefit of counting all the visitor traffic to your site rather than being diluted as visitors are sent to two or more different sites.
The Future For Responsive Web Design
There is no question that mobile technology is here and here to stay. Web visitors love the convenience of small, lightweight devices that deliver functionality once found only on a clunky desktop. All indications are that smartphones, netbooks, e-readers, notepads, and who knows what other devices will continue to become more powerful and offer the capacity for greater functionality.
The consensus among experts and industry watchers alike is that not only will mobile usage and access continue to increase, it will do so at an increasingly accelerated rate and have more and more impact on consumer decision making. Businesses (both B2B and B2C) that want to thrive in the coming years must embrace mobile technology and find creative ways to capture share of vision and share of mobile.
Your customers (and potential customers) are increasingly using their mobile device(s) to access the internet. And they are less and less tolerant of inconvenient website experiences. Mobile isn’t going away, and waiting to update your site will only penalize your business.