Mobile / Schmobile. Forget everything you thought you knew about the need for mobile websites.
A few years ago we began getting more and more calls from our clients asking for the costs to implement a mobile version of their websites. As the number of iPhones, Smartphones and iPad users grew – so did the need for making certain that your website could be viewed properly on these devices.
The issue during those early days was that you basically needed to create TWO websites – one for most devices such as any desktop and iPads – and another, scaled down version of your website for mobile phones, etc. Something that few people talk about is the fact that mobile phone manufacturers and providers realized that the internet was not keeping up with the times because so few websites (percentage-wise) transitioned to mobile sites – that the phone providers began making their devices more “internet-friendly” since the internet (Per Se) wasn’t becoming “mobile-friendly” fast enough.
So in essence mobile technologies took things in their own hands and made their devices easier to surf the net.
Nevertheless, business owners scrambled to get mobile websites (or at least inquire about doing so). What they found out was that a TRUE mobile website was nothing more or less than a scaled down version of your full website. The cost to build a mobile website was basically priced the same as designing a full-sized website. Design companies basically charge a little less per page, but a 5-6 page mobile site would cost about one-half to two-thirds that of a full sized site.
Around the time that there was a huge rush for mobile websites .mobi domain names popped up and host firms bought their .com domain names in the .mobi extension which was basically a big waste of time and money as the need for them became obsolete for the most part. Savvy design firms designed websites in CSS and styled different versions for different devices and placed code to detect what kind of device was hitting a website.
Websites began popping up that promised a FREE mobile website in minutes and tons of people have used Dudamobile, GoMobi and other websites like Mobelio to deliver mobile versions. Those are actually pretty good options, but they do have some limitations and what they offer is basically a separately hosted SECOND website, etc…
ENTER RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
Responsive Web design (RWD) is a Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors to huge 60″ flat-screens).
A website designed with RWD adapts the layout to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS media queries.
- The fluid grid concept calls for page element sizing to be in relative units like percentages, rather than absolute units like pixels or point sizing.
- Flexible images are also sized in relative units, so as to prevent them from displaying outside their containment.
- Media queries allow the page to use different CSS style rules based on characteristics of the device the site is being displayed on, most commonly the width of the browser.
So we went from needing two websites, to .mobi, to separately hosted versions, to CSS “tricks” to Responsive Web Design, which began making the rounds back in the midst of 2010. It took a while to catch on until Responsive Design was finally listed as the #2 top web design trends for 2012 by .net magazine. Other designer mags (both print and online) called 2013 the “Year of Responsive Web Design” and why not since it basically allowed designers to create ONE website on your ONE domain name that would display perfectly no matter the device it was being viewed on.
EVEN GOOGLE GOT IN THE MIX BY RECOMMENDING RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
…and when Google speaks, you’d better listen. No SEO firm that I am aware of has come out and said that Google might even be rewarding your website a few brownie points in the ranking algorithms if you use Responsive Web Design on your website – but I wouldn’t be surprised. Google recommends responsive design as one of three options in its Guide: How to Approach Multi-Device Sites for Your Business?
Are you listening?
THE NEXT COMPANY THAT CALLS YOU ABOUT BUILDING A MOBILE WEBSITE FOR YOU…tell them what YOU know.
If you’re in the market for a new website – make it a Responsive one because it will save you money and since 20-30% of your visitors are now coming to you on iPhones, Smartphones and mobile devices – don’t turn your backs on them. Go “responsive”.
If you’re interested in a Responsive Design Quote <click here