Technology Web Development

Why a responsive website should be a priority for every business in 2016

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In the modern business landscape, a responsive website is a must. The days of websites being viewed solely on a computer monitor are long gone.

Not only do we now surf the web on laptops, notebooks and the huge desktop monitors of Macs, but more often on our smartphones and tablets.

You only need to take a look around the train or bus to see that absolutely everybody is browsing the web on their mobile devices these days.

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Statistics show that 52.7% of mobile phone owners currently use their phone to access the web, with this number expected to rise to 63.4% by 2017.

At this rate, web content will be predominantly become mobile based, rather than desktop based, and businesses need to take note!

The experience of viewing a webpage is completely different when it’s viewed on a mobile device, and its crucial that a business makes the experience as easy and engaging as possible for the customer when browsing their products and services.

According to West Yorkshire-based agency Identify Web Design, “A website must be easy to use for it to work, and generate a return on your investment.

“If a website isn’t easy to use; it simply won’t convert visitors into sales or enquiries. For example, a potential customer using a mobile phone won’t be able to navigate a desktop version of a website due to the screen size available.

“Making your website mobile friendly means the viewer can see the important parts of information / elements of the website to use it effectively and make that purchase or important enquiry.”

So what is a responsive website?

A responsive site can adapt its layout and content to perfectly fit the size of the screen, whether it be a desktop, mobile or iPad.

For example, on a mobile the user will see the exact same site, except it will have been shrunk down and displayed in an easier to read format, tailored to a touch screen device.

Without a traditional site, the user would just be greeted with the same big screen they would see on a laptop, and will have to keep zooming in and out of the page to see the bits that they want.

The majority of big companies are now turning to responsive web design, and those who don’t embrace it in 2016 risk being left behind.

Most great web design agencies such as Identify and Newcastle-based WayFresh now provide responsive sites as standard, such is their importance to a business.

Remember, it’s no good your website being kitted out with lots of flashy bells and whistles if it doesn’t do the basics right, and if your readers cant get their heads around it.

Why should my business be using one?

  • The rise of mobile and tablet devices has been a rapid one, and its likely the market is going to change even further in the coming years. We might already be seeing this with the wearable technology being developed such as the Apple Watch. A responsive site will ensure that you stay ahead of the curve, no matter what new devices the market throws at us.
  • A responsive site may take a little bit longer than a conventional one to set up, but it should also last you a lot longer and won’t require as much expensive upkeep.
  • Responsive sites also go a long way to improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In fact the king of search engines, Google themselves recommend a responsive site as the best way to target mobile users.
  • Most importantly, it provides a far better for your users and gives the best chance that they’ll engage with you and your products and ultimately be converted into a customer.

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What about mobile sites?

The initial response to this shift in technology was for many businesses to develop specific mobile websites, completely separate to the traditional desktop one, with reduced functionality and better load times.

However, the issue with mobiles sites is that by only displaying the most basic of content, customers may find it difficult, or even impossible to find what they’re looking for.

Having two separate sites can create a problem for designers too. It means two different sites that need to be updated and maintained, all at extra time and cost to you.

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