With the increase in the purchase and use of mobile devices (i.e. smart phones, tablet PCs, etc.), people are accessing the Internet and web sites more through these devices than through desktop and laptop computers. This fact emphasizes the importance of making sure your web site has responsive design. Responsive design makes your web site adjust to the screen size of the device used to access it. It also ensures that your web site layout and graphics look good on all devices and a lot of horizontal scrolling would not be necessary to view the content.
Currently there is a slight push from some search engine companies to encourage responsive web site design. This encouragement is coming in the form of a change in their search algorithms to give higher placement in search engine results pages to web sites that are mobile friendly.
One way to find out if your web site is responsive or mobile friendly is to enter your domain name into a responsive design testing tool such as the Responsinator. There are various testing tools available that will provide a good approximation of how your web site will appear on various devices. Of course using the actual mobile(s) is more accurate.
Now you might ask “do I have to completely re-build my web site to make it more accessible to mobile device users?” Well, there are a few factors that will determine the answer to that question such as:
- the purpose of your current web site (i.e. e-commerce, informational, portfolio, etc.)
- is it in your budget to re-build your web site
- will a mobile web site suffice as a supplement to your current web site
The most cost effective, temporary solution is to have a mobile web site built that provides basic information via hyperlinked icons. The content on a mobile web site can be static or in real-time. Some examples are:
- Hours of operation
- Contact information
- Online forms to submit feedback, questions or comments
- GPS (global positioning system) navigation to give you turn-by-turn directions to a specific location
- Offer coupons or promote sales/discount
- Restaurant menus
- List services provided by your business or organization
- Provide a link to the desktop version of your web site for detailed information
Having a mobile web site is a temporary solution for providing mobile friendly access to your online content until you are ready to re-build the desktop version of your web site with responsive design. As mobile device users continue to increase, it is essential to ensure that your web site is easily accessible across various platforms.
Contact us for more information about mobile web sites or responsive design.