Mobile Friendly Websites
Almost every new client we speak to wants a mobile version of their website. It is essential after all: For those with deep pockets and a determination for mass appeal, we have previously needed to build a version for the BlackBerry, another for the iPhone, the iPad, netbook, Kindle — and all screen resolutions must be compatible. We seem to be on a relentless advance towards bigger and better (or smaller and more compact) technological advances giving users a different, more mobile way to browse the net. When will the madness stop? Of course, it won’t.
In the field of Website Design and Development, we are rapidly getting to the point of being unable to keep up with the endless new resolutions and devices. It is simply not practical or cost effective to create a website version for each resolution, so do we just suffer the consequences of losing visitors from one device, for the benefit of gaining visitors from another? Or is there an option?
Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones). In simple terms, the website design should respond and adapt to the user’s behavior and environment, based on screen size, platform and orientation. The website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
See our own Responsive Design in action
If you are on a mobile device or tablet now, you will already know we are fully responsive. If you are on a desktop or laptop machine, shrink your screen to see how the website adapts and ‘responds’ to the reduced size of the screen. Grab the the corner of the browser window and stretch and shrink it to see how the design collapses to accommodate for it’s new environment, without losing the integrity of it’s display. This is ‘responsive design’ and is mobile friendly, which in turn exposes us to a far wider audience which in turn increases the potential for business online.
Update or Replace
Every new website we create for our customers is responsive as standard now, but many of our long term customers have older websites which are not. There are millions of websites out there which simply do not perform on a mobile device. It is essential for the modern day business to adapt and become responsive to the way of the mobile device. Morgan Stanley’s analysts believe that, based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015.
To answer the question of update or replace, you must consider replacing your existing website for something which caters for mobile devices. If you contact us on Freephone 0800 756 9975 we can discuss the best way to migrate your existing data into a newer platform which will allow you to benefit from traffic, you are undoubtedly missing at the moment.
Payment Gateway Integrations
For those customers who are running e-commerce sites, you should also be looking at whether 3rd party software running on your website is also responsive. At the time of writing (22.03.13) Sagepay do not provide a mobile gateway, nor do Cardsave (although one is planned shortly). This means your responsive designed website works perfectly until a user checks out, when the 3rd party fails to match your efforts and does not provide a responsive way to pay! Obviously paypal are and have been for some time, fully mobile friendly, so there are options in the short term. Customers using direct methods rather than form based payment gateways can have custom scripts written to cater for mobile devices. If in doubt, contact us directly so we can advise you of the best solution.