What are Mobile Responsive Websites?
Do you recall when the mobile version of websites were just shrunken versions of their desktop counterparts? They were far from being user-friendly, especially if the website contained a lot of small texts and you needed to zoom in and out every time you wanted to read something.
This problem has led to the development of what we now call Responsive Web Design (RWD), a solution that is geared towards giving users optimal website experience regardless of the device they are using.
A Massive Shift: The Coming of Mobilegeddon
Mobilegeddon, a wordplay of the word mobile and Armageddon, is used to refer to the update Google made on its search engine algorithm dated April 21, 2015. In this new update, Google has included a website's mobile responsiveness as a criterion for its ranking system. The update was so massive that it drove businesses into making their websites responsive on all platforms, especially on mobile, in their effort to boost their online presence.
A website’s ranking in Google’s search algorithm plays a critical role in improving a company’s brand image. If your website is frequently returned in Google searches, there would be a higher click rate, which translates to higher potential sales.
In addition, a highly flexible web design positively contributes to users’ perception of your business or brand. They are more likely to return to your site and make additional business transactions if it is easily accessible on various platforms.
The Impact of Mobile Internet Users
Google made it clear that the Mobilegeddon update is only applicable for mobile searches, and it doesn’t have an effect on the website’s ranking on desktop searches. However, with the exponentially increasing number of mobile users, therefore mobile searches, it is only wise that companies should allocate sufficient resources to make their websites responsive on any platform.
As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion internet users worldwide, and of this sum, 4.32 billion or 92.6 percent are mobile users. Evidently, there is a need to toggle your web design for it to perform optimally on mobile devices if you want to attract the majority of internet users into checking out and browsing through your website.
You would not want customers to go to a competitor’s website just because yours is hard to navigate or difficult to read. A mobile irresponsive website can cost you potential sales. Therefore, it is important to invest in RWD.
What Makes a Web Design “Responsive”
Designing a responsive web layout is a complicated process. It involves a well-defined design system and consideration of website content hierarchy across different devices.
RWD has three key features: fluid grid, flexible visuals, and media queries.
1. Fluid Grid
Grids are not a novel feature of web design; developers have been using them since the start. However, they were originally fixed, with exactly defined width and length.
In RWD, grids are made flexible and scalable, ensuring that the website elements are displayed in consistent spacings and proportions regardless of the device’s screen size and resolution. In other words, a fluid grid gives a website a uniform feel and looks across different devices.
2. Flexible Visuals
Visual was a major problem with earlier web designs. Back when mobile sites were just shrunken versions of desktop sites, there was a constant need to zoom and pinch parts of the site you want to read. With RWD, texts and images are made flexible. On responsive websites, users can now change the line spacing and font size of the texts to improve legibility.
All visual elements adjust within the boundaries of the fluid grid, and they are shown based on the content hierarchy defined with CSS. Texts are easy to manage but images are a bit more tricky, especially on smaller mobile devices. Regardless, these images can still be resized, cropped, or even removed depending on its significance to the end user’s experience.
3. Media Queries
Media query is the code mainly responsible for making a website flexible across multiple platforms. Essentially, this code inspects the physical characteristics of the end user’s device and based on it, renders the website.
This feature provides a more tailored experience to users compared to merely defining breakpoints in the CSS/HTML.
Mobile Responsive Website and Brand Value
The responsiveness of a website on multiple platforms, especially on mobile, directly affects the brand image of a company. The following are what you will be missing if you fail to integrate flexibility into your web design:
⦁ Increased Conversion
A study conducted by Google showed that mobile websites that are hard to navigate tend to lose visitors 61 percent of the time. On the other hand, mobile responsive websites have a 67 percent chance of getting a conversion.
An optimal and seamless user experience on a mobile website significantly favors conversion rate. With mobile responsive websites, redirection to other URLs to complete an action and zooming in to accurately click something are no longer problems. Users appreciate these things and encourage them to make conversions.
⦁ Higher Google Ranking
As explained earlier, Google has included mobile responsiveness in ranking search results. Without RWD incorporation, your website will be at the bottom of the search results. This translates to lesser user visits, lesser conversions, and lesser profits.
⦁ More Efficient Website Management
A responsive web design allows developers to efficiently update and maintain a website. Instead of separately managing a desktop and mobile version of a site, developers will only need to manage a single one. Doing so is far more cost- and time efficient.
⦁ Improved Brand Value
If visitors were satisfied with their experience browsing through your website, they will have a positive perception of your brand. Conversely, an unresponsive mobile website will tarnish your brand image. To boost your online presence and create a favorable brand image, it is paramount to invest in making your website responsive on multiple platforms.
A responsive web design gives you leverage over your competitors in terms of online presence. By making your website mobile responsive, you are ensuring that the majority of internet users will have a pleasant experience navigating your site. This will increase user visits, encourage conversions, raise sales, and ultimately, improve your brand image.
At Design and Host, we offer an all-in-one website package that covers all your web development needs, including domain name registration, hosting, website security, web design, logo design, custom email, and so much more. If you are ready to put your business online and create a website that perfectly matches your brand, contact us, and let us discuss your requirements.