Websites that work on your mobile
In 2014 a major tipping-point was reached. Globally, more than 50% of people accessing the internet were doing so using mobile devices. In New Zealand, being a technologically adventurous nation, we reached that point a year earlier - by early 2013, 54% of New Zealanders were using a smartphone to get online. By the end of that year, it was closer to 70%. According to Statistics New Zealand, mobile phone Internet connections increased 16 percent from 3.2 million connections in 2013 to 3.7 million in 2014.
What these numbers tell you is that a heck of a lot of people are looking at your website on their mobile phone - and that number is increasing every day.
There has also been a very significant change to Google, who have announced that on the 21st April 2015 an update was made to their algorithm that makes mobile friendliness a factor in search results. This means if you're not mobile friendly you're less likely to be found on Google results.
There's a brilliant webpage here - Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015 - that tells you everything you ever wanted to know - and more - about mobile web trends and why you should care. Check it out. Google is also your friend, with Our Mobile Planet where you can select your own parameters related to mobile usage in New Zealand and worldwide, and create your own graphs and comparisons.
The web industry's response has been to develop a technique for building websites called responsive web design. This technique allows us to structure your website so that the content looks great and is optimised and easy to read on any device your visitors happen to be using - from the smallest smartphone to the widest desktop screen - and everything in between.
Have you noticed, while surfing the net on your smartphone, how some websites look really tiny - like a miniature version of the desktop site - so you have to pinch and swipe and zoom in order to see everything? That's a non-responsive website in action. It's annoying, and difficult to use, and some elements - like video and tables - may not display properly at all. Then there are the responsive sites - like the one you're on right now, and the others pictured on this page - where the content re-arranges itself according to the viewport size of the device you're using, where everything works and where you can read all the content easily, without having to zoom or pinch or swipe at all. Much better - and much more professional-looking too.
A responsive website is a whole generation or two away from the old way of building websites - and it's also much better than those m. websites you still sometimes see - where there's a completely separate website for mobile. When you have two separate websites - one for mobile and another for desktop - web editors have to do twice as much work keeping both of them updated, and there's no guarantee that the mobile site will be able to handle the vast range of dimensions that mobile devices come in these days. With a responsive website, you get one site for all devices (and only one site for your editors to update), and the beauty of the build is that it automatically rearranges its content to fit whatever device you're using - whatever the dimensions - which means it's future-proofed as well.
We've built quite a few responsive websites now - here are our responsive case studies - and almost all of our clients are now reaching their own tipping point when it comes to responsive design. It costs a little more - because we've got to think about how the content behaves in a whole range of device sizes - but it's really worth it.
Get in touch if you'd like to find out more.