The past few years have been a very unusual time for the PC market – PC sales are declining in volume, year over year.
So which devices are consumers buying? Tablets, for one thing. Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year. Their sales numbers may top notebooks next year. Smartphones, of course, are also a hot commodity — according to Nielsen, the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones, not feature phones.
Meanwhile, the shift to mobile is happening at an extraordinary speed. When it comes to news sites, there’s even more data suggesting that the mobile web is key. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of tablet users prefer viewing websites on the mobile browser than via a dedicated app. It’s clear that having a great mobile website should be the priority.
But with hundreds of new devices coming out each year, each with their own screen size, how does a small business keep their website relevant and viewable to this huge market segment?
The solution is to make a website that works equally well on every device. Enter responsive web design.
In simple terms, a responsive web design checks a visitor’s browser to figure out what resolution and type of device it’s being served on. Flexible images and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen. If you’re viewing my website on a desktop browser, for example, try making your browser window smaller. The images and content column will shrink, the menu converts into a dropdown, then the sidebar will shift underneath the main content. It becomes a longer, thinner website – but still readable!
The benefits are obvious: You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across hundreds of different devices. For users, it ensures a great experience on every screen. For business owners, it offers the simplest way to reach people across multiple devices.
Given the rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones — and the fact that users currently seem to prefer browsing websites on the mobile web rather than in dedicated apps — I think it’s inevitable that business owners need to embrace responsive design methods for their websites.
As Ethan Marcotte, the author of Responsive Web Design, explains, “Now more than ever, we’re designing work meant to be viewed along a gradient of different experiences. Responsive web design offers us a way forward, finally allowing us to ‘design for the ebb and flow of things.'”
Is your non-responsive website costing you clients?
If you’re not getting the traffic or conversion (new business leads) that you need from your website, then get in touch with me. I’ll review your website for a variety of issues: design, speed, search engine optimization, traffic flow, mobile-readiness, usability and clear call to action. You’ll get the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s only by breaking some eggs can we make a great omelet.
Your bad website may be holding your business hostage – get rescued today!