Mobile friendly website design – Responsive vs. Mobile websites

As a business owner you should already be aware that Google has once again changed the ball game and added another criteria to the way it ranks websites in the search engine results pages (serps). So now your rankings depend on whether or not your website is mobile friendly.

With the rapid increase in people using their mobile devices to search and shop online, this move is understandable, however that doesn’t help business owners when they are faced with a website that is not mobile friendly.

So what can you do about this problem? Because, if you don’t want to lose rankings, customers, sales and conversions, you have to address this issue very quickly.

Is your website mobile friendly?

To check if your website is already mobile friendly you can input your URL into Google’s mobile friendly test. If there are any problems with your website, then Google will give you a heads up on what’s wrong.

You can also check the way your website displays on mobile devices by calling up your website on your smartphone. This will instantly tell you whether you have any problems or not.

If you already have a responsive design, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are out of the woods. The problem is that people can add plugins and a range of media to your website, any of which can be a fixed width. If the size of an object is fixed, then it won’t display correctly on mobile devices and this will counter the responsiveness of your design.

So even if you have a responsive design, you could still be in trouble.

What are your options?

If you do have a responsive design, but after inputting your URL into Google’s test page, it states that your site is not mobile friendly, then you need to check in with a developer to track down the problem. It can take quite a while to find out the cause of whatever is interfering with your responsive design, so be prepared for a wait until Google finally gives you the all clear.

If you don’t have a responsive design or a mobile website (a separate website specifically designed for mobile devices, not desktops), then you need to decide your next step – because you do need a website that displays correctly on mobile devices.

Responsive vs. Mobile Websites

You can either use a responsive design or a mobile website to fix this problem. The short cut to this decision is that if you are happy with your current website, but it is simply not mobile friendly, then a mobile website, which is just a copy of your current website that is mobile friendly, might be the way to go.

On the other hand, if your current site no longer suits your needs and you want to make major changes, then a responsive design is maybe your best option. This way, you have the website you want, with only one URL (you have two URLs if you have a mobile website as well) and you don’t need to worry about updating the mobile site.

That’s one of the issues with having a mobile website, is that you need to keep updating it so it continues to display correctly on all mobile devices, as new devices become available. Another issue is that mobile devices can use both touchscreens and keyboard navigation, so you have to deal with this problem as well on a mobile website.

It tends to become complicated, so if you are in the right place, then a responsive design that automatically displays well on all mobile devices, might be your best option.

For more information on website design and how to make your website mobile friendly, call us on 02 8209 3579 or complete our online enquiry form.

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If you have a project/idea that you would like us to work on, you want information about the studio and its activities, or to arrange a portfolio showing, please contact us.
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