Responsive Design – Is your website mobile optimized?

It’s expected by 2014 that the majority of internet users will be browsing with some type of mobile device.   People expect to be able to browse on their mobile device just like they do a desktop. Mobile is no longer just smartphones. Many users browse on devices like iPads.

Is your website ready?

One website for every screen

Responsive design means rather than designing for a specific device, like a desktop browser, one design is created that automatically adapts or responds to the device that is accessing the site.

Responsive design uses fluid grids. Rather than a fixed layout, the site is “liquid” and all elements will adjust and display according to the browser it’s being viewed on. If you visit any of the Hi-Fi Theme Demo pages you can see how that works even from your desktop browser by dragging and re-sizing the browser to see how the elements adjust. All HiFi Themes are mobile responsive designs that are ready to go out of the box.

Responsive design has become the standard this year in web design. It’s no longer “is your site mobile friendly, but rather is your site “web friendly.” No matter who is visiting your site. The number of devices, platforms and browsers that need to work with your site is growing.

One big advantage of this for you, is no more maintaining a separate site for mobile, and another for desktop.

Google’s Recommendations:

Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design:

“Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. 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.”

Bing has also made the same recommendations.

Responsive sites perform well in Google’s search results

The advantages of responsive design are that both desktop and mobile content use the same url. That makes it easier for users to share and interact with your content, and for Google to discover your content more efficiently.

If your website has only one url for each page, that is more beneficial than a page with multiple links. If you have a mobile site on a sub domain or separate site, those links are weakened.

Using a mobile app instead of a mobile site can have disadvantages as well since apps cannot be indexed by Google.

User Experience

Responsive design creates a better and more consistent experience for your visitors. Responsive sites can be shared more easily, they load faster, they’re easier to read and they work better with social media technologies.

In the past, some created a separate site that was optimized for mobile phones. This usually meant scaled back content, graphics and limited information for visitors. It also required significantly more time to manage content.

It can be frustrating for mobile users to visit a “mobile version’ of a site and find limited information. With one site for every screen, that means all information and content is available.

Responsive design is not a fad. Over 50% of all searches are made from a mobile device. The days of flash sites with slow loading times, mobile incompatibility and annoying music blaring in the background are over. It’s no longer enough to have a flash site and with a “basic” mobile versions. Websites today need to load quickly, be easy to navigate and find information.

It’s time to sit down and begin planning your mobile web friendly design right now. Don’t make the mistake of looking around to see what other’s in the industry are doing. Many are behind with their strategy. Get the early adopter edge over you’re competitors who one or two years from now will be scrambling to catch up.

 

About Nancy Nardi

Founder of HiFi Social Web, Co-Founder of Seniors Ignite, website maker and entrepreneur. I help photographers and entrepreneurs leverage the power of the web with WordPress.

%d bloggers like this: