Does Your Website Accommodate Mobile Users?
Remember the good old days, when connecting to the Internet took nearly as long as it did to drive down to the local library to find the information you were looking for? How about when you couldn’t talk on the phone and surf the Web at the same time? It seems ironic to think that these days, our smartphones come with the ability to talk, text and browse the Internet all at the same time!
This rise in mobile Web browsing has given way to more than just convenience, however —it’s changed the way the Internet exists and is continuing to shape its future every day. In fact, with 90 percent of American adults in possession of a smartphone, the Internet of today isn’t like going to be the same Internet of tomorrow.
Optimized for mobile
People are spending fewer and fewer hours a day in front of their desktops or laptops browsing the web—it’s just a fact of our modern world that smartphones have made web browsing all that much more convenient for people. But, in many places, the Internet hasn’t quite caught up to this idea.
How often have you gone to a website on your smartphone, only to have to pinch the screen to make it readable or shrink it down to a level that’s more befitting to your smaller screen? Chances are, this has happened to you a lot, as it’s one of the main hindrances currently facing many website owners.
Without a responsive design in place to accommodate different screen sizes, or proper coding that allows a mobile site to become active when accessed by a smartphone, many websites are paying the price of evolution. If your website isn’t catering to its visitors, it’s likely a website that they won’t be visiting again anytime soon!
Making the change
So how, exactly, does a website make the leap into the future of mobile browsing? It’s not as hard as it may seem, however it does require some attention and footwork to get the job done right.
The first step is to carefully watch your analytics, to see if indeed your viewers are coming in from smartphones and tablets. If they are, is the site catering to their unique resolution? If not, do you have a mobile site in place to automatically assist with navigation?
Once you’re able to get a snapshot of your customers via your analytics, you need to decide which option is of the highest benefit to you: recoding for responsive design or the creation of a mobile site. Each has its pros and cons, but ultimately, it boils down to what people are going to be doing on your site.
Ecommerce platforms and interactive sites will best benefit from a responsive design, since it allows the site to be scaled at will to accommodate the user. Blogs, news sites and textual sites might find that a mobile sight does the trick and requires very little runaround to get the job done.
Considering the future
There’s something to be said for “keeping up with the Joneses” when it comes to mobile Web browsing. If your competition has already made it easier for people on smartphones and tablets to access and use their site, what’s to stop your customers from jumping ship for a more convenient alternative? But, consider the inverse, where your site is convenient and you’re ahead of the competition—wouldn’t it be nice to see a bump in customers, simply because you took the time to take the next step?