With the popularity of smart phones and tablets on the rise, web developers have been forced to change the way they build websites. Previously, to accommodate various mobile devices, businesses needed to develop a dedicated mobile website in conjunction with their primary website. The mobile version was typically smaller, straight to the point, and optimized for the mobile experience. Unfortunately however, this approach forced businesses to manage and support two websites instead of one. This method, albeit inefficient to a certain degree, worked well as it provided mobile visitors with a better experience (which is the goal).
For new websites and website re-designs there is no longer a need to create a “mobile version” and a “desktop version” of a website. The constant advancement of technology has provided website companies with the ability to create mobile and desktop websites from the same code-base; meaning you create the primary website and it will work on a variety of different devices from smart phones and tablets to TV’s and game consoles. This new method of development is called Responsive Design. Having a responsive design gives your website the capability to appropriately “scale” to the screen size of your visitor. So whether your visitor is on their desktop, smart phone, or tablet, your primary website will respond and display accordingly. The best part of this experience is that your mobile visitors will have full access to your entire website; not just a few pages like the old days.
In 2012, 28% of internet usage came from mobile phones, and smart phone sales have overtaken PC sales. Some developers predict that by 2015 the internet will be viewed by more people on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets than home computers. If these predictions are true, standalone websites that are not built with mobile users in mind, their website experience will become far less effective and eventually obsolete. If you’re in the process of planning to re-design your existing website, or if you’re creating a new website, be ahead of the curve and choose a responsive design. Chances are high that it will give you a leg-up over your competition while providing a better online experience for your mobile visitors.