Having a mobile-friendly web design is no longer just an option, it's a necessity!
To understand why having a mobile friendly website is so important for your business you must ask the question 'how are people accessing the Internet?'
The answer is increasingly by using smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and consoles as well as PCs and laptops. In fact, anything that is web enabled.
For web designers using traditional web design techniques the spread of devices with various screen sizes created a bit of problem. For a long time, web designers have favored using fixed screen web page templates which fitted in nicely within the advances in display screen hardware standards. It just seemed that screens would just get bigger and the screen resolution would follow this pattern.
The iPhone was amongst the first of the small screen smartphones that allowed people to access the web and browse websites. These devices used techniques to pinch and zoom in on the area of interest of the web page. However, because mobile and tablets are touch driven so simple User Experience (UX) principles such as 'hover' menus and 'onClick' events don’t work well.
It was becoming clear that a new approach to web design was needed to address the UX issues that were emerging. One simple elegant, approach that rapidly gained favor with web designers was 'Responsive Web Design'.
In responding to the changing usage along with an increase in search requests from mobile devices, Google started positively rewarding websites in search results which were deemed mobile-friendly. Mobile-first indexing now means that the mobile version of your website is the starting point that Google uses to determine its rankings. For further information on Mobile friendliness as a ranking signal please go to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
A prerequisite of a mobile-friendly approach is the focus on page load times. Websites which have faster page speed are rewarded by higher visibility in search. Google’s own initiative to speed up mobile internet leads to the development of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The uptake of AMP is still unclear but what it does tell us is that page speed for mobile networks will be a significant driver of innovation for some considerable time.
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