The proportion of visitors to your web site who are using smart phones or other mobile devices is currently around 30% and rising steadily. A site that works well on mobile devices is no longer a “nice to have” feature but an assumed part of any web development strategy.
What sort of an experience are mobile visitors having at your site? Do they encounter a site designed for a smaller screen or one that is simply shrunk down to fit in the browser screen? The screenshot on the left shows what unoptimized sites look like on a smart phone screen. The user is forced to zoom in, scroll up, scroll down, zoom out, scroll sideways…
Many visitors to such a site that is not optimized for mobile devices will simply abandon it and look elsewhere.
So does that mean you need to have a totally separate site just for mobile? In most cases no.
Alaska Web Crafters practices responsive design in the development of most sites. Responsive web pages are fluid, meaning the content moves freely across all all devices and screen resolutions. Just as a liquid spreads out or draws in to allow its content to fill an allotted space and retain its appearance, responsive web design’s fluidity achieves the same result with website content on a device screen.But as the site owner there is only one set of content data to keep current.
There are a lot fewer pixels available on mobile screens so the design and layout needs to be simpler. For example, you can’t use a three column, or even two column layout on a smart phone. A few design considerations for mobile design include:
Two of the significant advantages of having a single site compared to having two separate websites are cost and ease of maintenance. One website costs less than two, and the savings can be substantial.
If you have a separate mobile site it doubles the amount of time required to keep both sites up to date. Or, as often happens, your mobile site gets neglected. Often mobile versions of a site are stripped down and lack the full functionality and content of the desktop version. But the content you eliminate from the mobile site might be exactly the information your mobile users are looking for.
Sites designed solely for mobile device traffic don’t offer the advanced navigational techniques found in traditional websites, and they also require the user to maintain two separate web addresses for your site. This is inconvenient for most people and can cause them to check out the competition’s website. Responsive web design enhances SEO efforts by having all your visitors directed to a single site no matter what they prefer to use as a device.
If you’re ready to get your site fully mobilized give us a call and we can discuss options and strategies that will be cost-effective solutions to your mobile web needs.
In 2015 Google modified their search ranking algorithm to include “mobile friendliness”. There are a number of factors that are analyzed including:
Sites that don’t pass Googles test can suffer by getting ranked lower in search results.
Use Google’s online tool to find out how Google sees your site.
If you would like to make your site perform better on mobile devices give us a call and we can work with you to map out a strategy.
We are happy to provide a free analysis of your existing site with recommendations for improvements.