Responsive Websites: how flexible are you?
There is a lot of talk about responsive web design and why you should have your site built to be responsive. So, what do we mean by saying ‘responsive design’, is it really worthwhile and what does it cost?
What is it?
Responsive design is a mix of design and technology that allows your site to reposition its elements to give the best possible view across a multitude of devices. These include desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, without the need for a device-specific site to be built for each. It is not 100% perfect but it’s close. The idea is to give the user a fulfilling experience of your site, no matter what device they use.
Is it necessary?
There is only one way to answer this question and that is to look at your website analytics. Over the past six to twelve months, how many of your visitors have viewed, or tried to view your site using a mobile device? Your target audience also plays a part. If you know that they will be more likely to use a mobile device to view your site, then it’s a no-brainer; responsive is the way to go. If your target audience is locked into a closed corporate network and has no choice but to use a desktop browser then having a responsive site may not be necessary… I say ‘may’ as it’s worth taking into account that Google has gone so far as to penalise sites that aren’t responsive and give preference to sites that work best with the device you’re using. With desktop searches accounting for less than 50% of all searches, and mobile device usage increasing to over 60% (90% in Indonesia!), we are now firmly in the age of the ‘App’.
So does it cost more?
In the short term… I’m afraid so. Designing a site to be responsive takes extra time and planning. Navigation of a site can vary wildly depending on the device used. A site on a desktop relies upon point and click navigation with a mouse, trackpad or trackball, whereas on a mobile device will be navigated by touching and swiping. This is a very clear difference in human-computer interaction and must be accounted for in the design of the site and its navigation. Therefore additional time is needed throughout the whole process from planning to testing. In the long term though, this additional upfront cost will be offset by the simple fact that the site will gain more footfall from mobile users and ensure the long-term future of your site.
If you already have a site but it is not responsive, it would be well worth looking at the cost of converting it to be responsive so that you can attract the rapidly increasing amount of mobile users, maximise the number of people viewing your products/services and increase your chances of converting visitors to sales.
If you wish to find out more, feel free to contact us to find out more about how we can help you.
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