Responsive Websites for You and Everyone Else
By now, it is safe to say that we all have a smartphone in our pocket or a tablet nearby. The popularity of these devices has overtaken desktop computers and laptops, making them the top choices for people to use when searching out information or performing day-to-day online tasks; however because the screen size of these devices is much smaller, this has lead to a change in how websites are designed, developed and displayed. Missing out on this change could cost your business in a big way.
The Mobile Movement
Over the years, mobile devices have become much more common. With a reduction in pricing and subsidize by phone companies, you have a very good chance of getting your hands on the latest mobile device. For these reasons, the average screen size of Internet users has shrunk significantly. Previous websites were being developed specifically for larger screen sizes, and this was much easier to implement. In the last 5 years, one simply couldn’t ignore the statistics regarding the large number of users viewing the web on a small screen.
In order to accommodate these users, mobile websites were created. At first, a mobile website was separate from the desktop website, which meant if there was an update to be done, it needed to be performed on both websites. Fortunately, with advancements in website coding, there was the emergence of “responsive websites“. This allowed website designers to create one website that would respond appropriately on any device. For example, if the user’s screen is 5 inches, the website would adapt by hiding large images that would normally appear on a desktop screen. You can look at a website on your desktop computer, then look at the same website on your iPhone and it will look completely different even though it is the same website. As there is less real estate on a mobile device, it is important to identify relevant elements which should be displayed on the website, limiting less relevant items; doing this keeps page length shorter and prevents long user scrolling. This makes your website much more effective to those users with small screen sizes and limited search time.
Making it Work for the Masses
Now you have a brief understanding on mobile-friendly websites, but there are still large, underlying complexities. When developing a mobile responsive website, issues arrive when trying to cater to all the devices and browsers on the market. If you look at an iPhone 6 Plus and compare it to the iPhone 6 C, you will notice that the screens are completely different sizes. This can cause issues because images and content cannot be displayed in the same manner. The same can be said for 7″ and 9″ tablets. This means that the website needs to be tested on many different devices to ensure a good viewing experience for everyone, no matter the device.
Additionally, we have operating systems (Windows, iOS, Android) and browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) that need to be accommodated. Each one of these browsers and operating systems can render website content completely different. A sliding band image can work on Chrome, but not display correctly on Internet Explorer. This increases our testing significantly as we have thousands of combinations of screen sizes, operating systems, and browsers.
Mobile-Friendly Website Design
During our website design process, we continually think about how elements are going to be displayed on different device sizes. If a large image appears on desktop, should it even appear on mobile or is it just taking up valuable space? Our development process also includes extensive and thorough testing on multiple devices so that we can verify that the end result is an optimal viewing experience for the customer.
If you are interested in making your website mobile-friendly, or designing a brand new responsive website, contact FirstPage Marketing. Our passion is in creating websites that are versatile and can be viewed as best as possible across thousands of devices to potential customers.