What does mobile friendly even mean?
Mobile Friendly sites are those that allow smart phone users to easily navigate and view them.
One of our clients asked
'Why can't mobile users just zoom in to the parts of the website they want to read?'.
Well, technically they can, but it's not friendly, and there's also more to consider than just the size of the screen. There are certain obstacles that smart phone and tablet users will face when browsing the web with their devices that ordinary website users might take for granted:
Touchscreen users don't have mice, so any dropdown or popout menu that doesn't also work with a mouse-click instead of only a mouse-hover will simply not be navigable.
Fingers are fatter than cursors, so links that are close together or without sufficient padding, makes it challenging to navigate a website on small screens.
Phone numbers are not clickable by default.
Check to see if your site is mobile friendly:
Does my website really need to be mobile friendly?
At last check (May 2018), the GlobalStats StatCounter indicated that:
- 52% of website traffic came from smart phones.
- 44.1% of website traffic came from desktop computers
- 3.89% of website traffic came from tablets
That means that roughly half of your website visitors are using their mobile phones to browse your website.
In Feb 2015, Google announced that as of April 2015, they would expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
That means that where other factors are equal, a mobile-friendly site will perform better in the search results pages, than a website that is not mobile freindly.
Do I need a dedicated mobile site?
In the past, web designers would design a website for the most common browser resolution, most recently 992 pixels wide which is ideal for ordinary screens and tablets in landscape mode, and still ok for wide screens (albeit a bit narrow). If the client wanted to cater for Smart phone users as well, we would then design a separate site specifically made up for Smart phones in landscape mode. If users visited the site using a mobile device, a script would automatically redirect them to the mobile version.
We can still do this, but the drawbacks are obvious:
- You now have two sites to maintain instead of one.
- Typically a specific domain name extension is purchased for the mobile site, so you have two hosting packages to pay for, and two domain renewal fees to settle each year.
- Widescreens, and other in-between sizes are still not catered for.
Fortunately new programming methods have provided a solution to these problems, and that solution is:
What is Responsive Design?
A responsive website is one that dynamically reshapes and restyles itself based on the screen size that the website is viewed on. The user is not redirected to different versions of the site, but rather it is ONE site that changes itself to suit the user.
Not only does this eliminate the need to admin multiple sites, but we can now also cater for more scenarios, like your Smart phone or tablet in portrait mode and of course wide screen users can finally make the most of their screen real estate.
This website is responsive and you can see it in action by grabbing the side of your website browser (if you are on a PC) and dragging the window narrower. This reduced screen size simulation will result in the website changing before your eyes to fit better within the space designated. If you are viewing this on your tablet or mobile phone, tilting the device on its side will also result in the site restyling itself.
When we first put this mini-site together in 2014, responsive website were not the norm. As i edit this in 2018, most web designers offer responsive design...but almost all of them do a poor job of it.
How much will it cost?
Considering that there's roughly five times more work involved, it shouldn't be surprising that a responsive website will cost significantly more than an old fixed-width website.
You may find some website providers are offering cheap responsive design, but that can only mean that they're doing a half job - they're likely throwing together a slapdash website on a free responsive framework.
This means that instead of designing the website around your content, they're squashing your web content into a pr-made template. Some areas will look too spacey, and other ares too cramped. Not only that, but because these templates use complete liquid widths throughout, the site never looks AS good on all devices.
Read why our responsive websites are superior »
you get what you pay for.
Without knowing the exact specifications of your website, we won't be able to provide an accurate cost here, but we can tell you
that we charge between 2 to 3 times more for a responsive site than we do for an old fixed-width site.