In today’s fast-changing online environment, more and more people are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet. Due to being highly portable, lightweight, and accessible, mobile devices are gradually taking over both desktop computers and laptops. With mobile Internet usage increasing steadily, more website owners take the initiative to build mobile websites while still keeping their old websites accessible to computer and laptop users. But is it possible to have a website that is equally favorable for both desktop and mobile users? Read on to find out.
What Is a Mobile Responsive Website?
We say that a website is mobile responsive when the layout and/or the content respond (adapt) based on the size of the screen it is accessed from. A responsive website will automatically change to fit the device you are reading it on. There are four general screen sizes that a mobile responsive website is aimed at: the full-screen desktop monitor, the smaller laptop, the tablet, and the smartphone. As the screen gets smaller, the layout and content of the website shifts and changes to provide the best display. Having a mobile responsive website reduces the need of having different websites for different devices. Research has found that businesses with a mobile responsive website do better financially, which leads us to the following point – what are the real benefits of having one?
The Importance of Mobile Responsive Websites
In terms of benefits, mobile responsiveness has seemingly become an important factor used by prospective customers to judge a website – and implicitly the business in question. A mobile responsive website provides a more satisfactory experience to visitors, as a whopping 70.1 percent of them are currently utilizing mobile devices for day-to-day tasks. When your website is mobile responsive, your potential customers will have a more enjoyable experience surfing it. The content becomes easy to read and is properly structured into pages, which makes navigation smooth, convenient, and stress-free. This, in turn, will build competitive advantage, as mobile users will likely return to your website in the future, especially if your competitors do not have a responsive website. As such, you will be able to drive more quality traffic to your website, and also increase sales by providing customers with a more convenient alternative than your competition.
Another important benefit of a mobile responsive website is its ability to potentially increase click-through rates. A mobile responsive design delivers ads and calls-to-action in a context that is more accessible and attractive to mobile users. Moreover, mobile devices provide countless opportunities when it comes to effective ad integration, which means that visitors are more probable to click through your advertisements, or take an action that’s been called for.
How Do You Know If You Have a Mobile Responsive Website?
Figuring out whether your website is mobile responsive is not that difficult. This can be easily accomplished by accessing it from several devices, including a desktop computer or a laptop and a tablet or smartphone. If the layout is not automatically adjusted to fit the screen of each device, then your website is not responsive.
Another option you have is using an online tool, which will show you exactly how your website would look on different devices. If you are unsure of whether your website is responsive or not, you must keep in mind two important aspects. First, a responsive design will keep its HTML unaltered despite adjusting to different screen sizes. Second, a mobile responsive design does not change the URL of your website.
Google also provides a mobile-friendly test you can use to determine whether your website is responsive or not. This is especially effective because the test will highlight very specific usability issues your website has, which will help you make the necessary adjustments to improve user experience.
How Can You Make Your Website Mobile Responsive?
If any of the tests or online tools have shown that your website’s design does not automatically respond to different devices, then the next step is making it respond. The first and simplest option is switching to a mobile responsive theme. Though you will have to change the current aspect of your website, this will allow you to make it more mobile-friendly fast and without much struggle. Whether your website is WordPress, Joomla, Magento or PrestaShop-based, you should find a lot of free themes that are mobile responsive, good-looking, and suitable for your needs.
If changing the current look of your website is not a solution, you may try using media queries, or CSS3. Media queries will tell the browser how to display your website in different resolutions – for example, not to display the sidebar on devices with a maximum width of 480 pixels.
One of the biggest concerns webmasters have when it comes to mobile-friendly websites is the size of the header. If your website has an image-based header, then it will likely not display optimally on all devices. This will ultimately impact your visitors’ experience, making navigation difficult and rather unappealing. Dealing with image-based headers is easy when you use specific plugins. They allow you to create different sized headers that will individually load depending on the screen size of the device they are accessed from.
Understanding the importance of a mobile responsive website is very important to the success of your business. Not only does this permit you to cater to a larger audience, but it also helps increase sales, drive more traffic, and establish your company as a dependable industry expert.
1. "Smartphone users as percentage of all mobile users in the U.S. from 2010 to 2017" (https://www.statista.com/statistics/201184/percentage-of-mobile-phone-users-who-use-a-smartphone-in-the-us/)