With all the access devices in the World today it’s really important that your website can be viewed and navigated easily on any one of them. You have no idea if someone will chose a smartphone, tablet or PC to conduct a search, or research into your business.
There are three ways that technically you can display your information onto all of these devices
- A responsive web site: This is where the website has exactly the same URL and website code, but it just renders differently for the various devices.
- Dynamic serving: Again this way uses the same URL, however the website code is different based on what the server knows about the user browser (so basically 2 websites!!)
- Completely separate URLS: This is where both the URL and code is completely unique, this configuration tries to detect the user device and tries to serve the appropriate website.
The first option is by far the best and is actually Google’s recommended design pattern, and from a maintenance angle it is the most efficient because you only have one website to maintain.
Of course usability is a large part of websites these days, and we know that visitors are impatient and will very quickly bounce off your website if they can’t easily navigate to the information they want. So do make sure that your website serves the mobile market, a big mistake we see is videos or images that won’t render well on a smartphone. A better solution would be to simply hide them.
Other problems we see are font sizes, if they’re too small then they are impossible to read on a small screen, and also links – you need to make sure there is enough white space around them so they are easy to tap!
All of this needs consideration and thought when designing a responsive site.
The other factor which happened in April last year is that Google actually now uses mobile friendliness as a ranking factor, saying
This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.
To read full post take a look here
So read into that – get your site sorted, mobile traffic will have a big influence now and in the future and you’re likely to be penalised if you do nothing about it.
The good news
If you’re on a WordPress website, or other open-source CMS, there are now thousands of mobile responsive designs that can be applied to your website. So the solution is a reasonably simple one to switch your site onto one of these themes. Of course there is still work to be done, this will include:
- Making your existing content work in the new layout
- Creating new content if the existing doesn’t quite make it
- Checking for small fonts and easy ‘tapability’
- Checking images and videos play and render well
- Making sure navigation is easy
Here, at JCK, our solution these days is a responsive website to make sure we’re providing the most up-to-date technology we can.
- Check to see if your website passes the mobile friendly test – Use this tool
- If you pass, fantastic you’re in good shape. If you get a fail make it a priority to invest in your website presence sooner rather than later!