As Smartphones and tablets become much more widely used it’s very important to have a website that does not disappoint those who want to access it on the go.
52% of UK mobile users have a smart phone and 39% of them say that their mobile is the main device they use to access the Internet.
Traffic comes to websites now in such a huge range of ways that you need to cater for everyone (or at least the large majority of your audience). One very important factor here is social media. A large number of people are now using smart phones and tablets to access social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) where brands are becoming more and more prolific. As a business owner you need to cater for these people who may find your URL in a friend’s Facebook post, or search for you on Twitter rather than using Google or Bing to search for and access your site.
So what are the options for making your site mobile friendly or more device-indepedent?
A mobile site is a site specifically built for mobile phones. It is effectively a separate site to your desktop website. When you try to access the site it will detect that you’re on a mobile and will redirect you (usually to a site that begins m.yoursitename). Often if you’ve already got a website and perhaps you think it isn’t necessary to recreate your whole site to be mobile friendly then this would be the most cost-effective way to do it.
Nevertheless, a responsive site is usually the best option, especially if you’re having a new site designed and built. Responsive design embraces the idea that audiences want the same content regardless of the device they are using to view it. As such a responsive website is often designed so that its elements can “stack”. When you visit the site on a tablet or Smartphone it detects the size of your screen and re-arranges the content of the site to fit that screen. You’re still accessing the same website: it’s just presented to you in a slightly different way. You can make the most of different calls to action (perhaps make more of a feature of your phone number, which the user can just tap to call, giving it more precedence than your contact form, for example, which isn’t much fun to fill out on a Smartphone).
Google loves responsive design, they released this statement earlier this year: “Sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.”
Google likes responsive sites for a variety of reasons. Econsultancy has a great article which explains all the different reasons.
We would now build a site as responsive as a standard due to the huge amount of tablets and smartphones in the market. It’s expected that next year tablets will outsell desktop computers, so it only make sense to cater for their users.
We have built responsive landing pages for YBS and CBS. These are specific landing pages which will be accessed in a variety of ways so needed to work and look good no matter what they were viewed on. We’ve also built full responsive sites for Craggs Energy, Samac Construction, Accord Mortgages and ourselves.
Have a look at the examples and get in touch if your site could do with a mobile/tablet friendly upgrade.