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Mobile responsive web design- how it works and why you need it

Posted by Ken Fajans on Jun 10, 2015 8:30:00 AM
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Mobile Devices, smart phones and tablets, have taken the internet by storm. In 2015, mobile internet users will outnumber desktop internet users. Both segments are huge and still growing. Neither should be overlooked.

This means that potential customers are looking at websites on vastly different screens, from large desktop displays to smaller smart phone screens. At first, the solution was basically build two websites, a desktop version and an isolated mobile version. This, though, was time consuming, expensive and confusing for users if they looked at the site on their desktop then revisited it on a mobile device as the sites would look entirely different.

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The new solution is responsive web design, which allows the same website to adapt to the screen size it is being viewed on without compromising the look or functionality. Responsive websites determine the width of the user's web browser to figure out how much space is available and how it should display the content. Breakpoints are used to target ranges that define displays. For example, the breakpoints for desktop, tablet and phones might be 1920 pixels, 768 pixels and 460 pixels, respectively. Unlike isolated mobile websites, responsive websites change the layout, based on the breakpoints, by using flexible images and proportional grids that allow the content to be fluid rather than fixed.

There are many reasons why now is the time to upgrade your website to a mobile responsive site. First, the shear number of people using mobile devices to access the internet. 46% of mobile users report having problems viewing a static site. Keeping customers and potential customers happy should be your number one priority. If visitors to your website have trouble reading or navigating your site, they are less likely to do business with you.

googleSecond, Google has changed it's algorithm, nicknamed mobilegeddon to penalize site that aren't mobile friendly. More and more people are doing searches on mobile devices. Google has taken notice and has changed their algorithm so that sites that aren't mobile friendly will rank lower in search results when the search is from a mobile device. Google doesn't want to upset it's customers by sending them to an unreadbale listing, just like you shouldn't. Search Engines are the most common starting points for mobile users.

Third, companies that have responsive websites generate more leads and have a competitive advantage over companies that have static websites. Think about it - if you go to a static website on your mobile device, how long are you going to resize and scroll until you get frustrated and leave the site possibly going to a comptitor's site that is easy to read and navigate.

Not sure if your website is mobile friendly? Try Google's mobile friendly test or contact CharmLab for a free mobile website assessment.

Topics: Mobile Responsive

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