Author Jukka Jumisko at Google+

Mobile Web Design is no longer optional

Customers want to see your website using their iPad and mobile phones. If you do not have mobile site, your will loose business to your better-prepared competition. Phones, tablets and networks get better and faster by day and do replace desktops:

According to Google, “67% of mobile users say that they’re more likely to buy a product or service from a mobile-friendly site, and 74% say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future.” Notice that they are not talking about mobile site, but mobile-friendly site!

Morgan Stanley’s analysts say that, the mobile internet will be bigger than desktop by 2015.

Gartner estimates that by 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide.

Responsive web design saves you time and money

With responsive design, you can build a website that looks good on any size of a device. It is a new technology. Everyone is now going this new direction. Has your web designer told you about this new trend or is he still building separate mobile website for you?

In responsive design the web browser reorganizes each page of your website depending on the size of the screen. You start the design by planning how the mobile phone screen should look first. Next you go a step wider for vertical tablets, then horizontal tablets and eventually for a full desktop screen.

All text and pictures will either be reorganized or replaced depending on the width of the screen. Typically you organize your content in several columns in the bigger screen. Mobile phone will show only one column. Bigger screens will show 2-4 columns. A good example is  Use your mouse to make the window smaller and see how three columns change first to two and then to one.

With responsive designs you plan for the future

With responsive design your do not need to worry if Microsoft or Apple will release a new smaller tablet. The browser that you will use in the new tablet will reorganize your web page to look just right in the new device. You will save money because you do not need to spent time in reprogramming for the new device.

Google recommends responsive design as a best practice

Google likes responsive design. In general they do not like pages with copied content. If you have a separate mobile site and full website it’s very likely that some of the content is copied.

When full and mobile pages are the same as in responsive design. Google needs to crawl it only once. You Will only need one site map and content will not be copied.

Another big SEO benefit is that all incoming links will point to one page instead of two separate pages.  Incoming links are very important for your webpage search rankings. Collecting them all to one page is very smart strategy.

Responsive design challenges

The original design of the website is more complicated and requires new skills compared to old-fashioned two separate website strategy. So making a responsive website will require better planning and will cost more.

Responsive design vs. Mobile apps

Compared to mobile apps, responsive design will have slower response times. Mobile apps do use device drivers directly to render graphics when responsive site  rely on web browsers for the graphics. However mobile devices with quad core processors and big memories will make that difference soon irrelevant.

Mobile apps can be used without Internet connection when responsive design websites are websites after all, and do need an Internet connection.