Rakia Web Design

Do I need a mobile website?

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The huge rise of people using smartphones, tablets and i-pads to browse the internet means that only 14% of people would be visiting your website using a traditional desktop computer (source Ofcom Media). And that figure is going to get smaller and smaller. If your website is only designed for viewing from a larger screen you are in fact only catering for an ever decreasing minority of website visitors. So the answer to the initial question 'Do I need a mobile website?'...... is categorically YES.

What is a mobile website?

A mobile website is a loose term used to talk about a website that displays well and is easy to navigate from any device that has a smaller screen than the traditional computer - a smartphone, an i-phone, a tablet, an i-pad etc. Because of the smaller screen 'mobile websites' have different design considerations to be able to allow the website visitor to be able to browse the site easily, read the information they are looking for and make any actions they want easily - like sending off an enquiry to you.

More people anow prefer their smartphones to browse the internet over traditional desktops

What if I don't have a mobile website?

If you don't have a mobile website, or if your website is not designed with smaller screens in mind, then you are making life very hard for the majority of people who are visiting you website. We have already mentioned that the majority of people now surf the web on their smartphone or tablet and if you don't cater for them then they will not think kindly of your website or your business. Imagine having a shop on the high street where you put a blindfold over one of the eyes of three quarters of all the customers that entered your shop. Yes, they could still get around your shop, albeit quite a bit slower, but you would be able to understand if they became frustrated quickly and you probably wouldn't blame them if they left in a hurry to go to another shop that welcomes them a bit more warmly. You wouldn't bet on them coming back either. Your website is no different to your physical business address, you want to make a good, professional first impression and make things as easy and as comfortable as possible for all your visitors and customers. Plus, a lot more people are visiting your business online than visiting your physical businesss address so this is how most people will form an opinion of your business.

But do I really need one? My website doesn't look too bad

If Google says you do its best to listen

In April 2015 the boss of the internet that is in charge of whether anyone finds your website or not aka 'Google' announced that it boosts the rankings of mobile-friendly pages and penalises pages that are only designed for larger screens. This is because Google wants to keep its users happy. Google knows that if a smartphone user clicks on a website that doesn't display well and is hard to read and navigate then the user will get frustrated and leave quickly to go to another website that is 'mobile friendly'. In short, if you care about your business doing well in the seach engine rankings you need to keep Google happy and make sure you are user friendly. Google now even informs people in search results whether each website is mobile friendly.

How do I know if my website is mobile friendly?

Easy. You can find out straight away using Google's free online mobile friendly test. Just write or paste in your website address and within seconds Google will tell you if your site is mobile-friendly. Test now!

Mobile friendly update

Watch a question and answer session from Google on the 'Mobile Friendly Ranking Change'

See for yourself

Another good way to see if your website is 'mobile friendly' is to pick up your smart phone (or borrow someone elses) and open up your website. Can you easily read all the information? Can you click on all the links easily? Can you navigate the menu and all the drop downs (if you have them) easily? Can you browse your photos and your photo galleries easily? Can you scroll down the page and view all the content without any trouble? Is it easy to fill out any forms, send off an enquiry or buy any products you may have?

If the answer is no to any of these questions then you are likely frustrating many of your website visitors and in effect turning them away from your website and your business.

Do I need 2 sites then? 1 for mobile and one for larger screens?

You have a couple of options here. Some firms do create a different site that can tell what size screen the website visitor is using and show the relevant version of their site. The drawbacks of this option are that you now have to maintain 2 versions of each page on your website (as if 1 wasn't enough!) and worry about optimizing 2 versions of each page so they rank well in the searh engines (SEO). On top of this you have to consider what happens when website visitors share any of your pages on one of the social channels like Facebook or Twitter. Imagine this scenario: a visitor to your website, using a traditional desktop computer, shares one of your pages on Facebook (Great!). The page they shared is from the desktop version of your site and is designed for larger screens. Some friends who see and click on the shared page on Facebook try viewing that same page from their smartphone but because it is designed for larger screens still get a bad experience because they can not read and navigate properly. The problem is that you have 2 versions of the same site and you can not reliably ensure that the right version is viewed by the right device.

The Responsive Website

A responsive website is a website that adjusts automatically according to the size of the screen it is being viewed from. It does not serve up a different page altogether but is just designed in such a way that all the elements on the page change and re-order themselves to make viewing and navigation easy and 'user friendly'. A responsive website is typically with a non-cluttered, clean, ordered and easy to navigate design.

We are specialists in clean and user friendly responsive design and in fact only build responsive websites. We ensure that every website visitor, regardless of whether they are visiting your site from a smartphone, a tablet, an i-pad, a laptop or a desktop can always interact easily with your website and your business online. We design and build responsive sites from scratch as well as converting existing traditional sites seamlessly into responsive websites. We guarantee a 100% mark on Google's independent 'User Experience Test' so you can be confident that you are making a good impression online. You can send us your current website address and we will provide you with a quote.

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