Have you ever pulled up a link on your phone while you’re out and about, only to end up emailing it to yourself to look at later on a bigger screen? I have. Dozens of times.
And if you’re like me, when you get back to your desk and sit down to answer email, where actual clients are clamoring for a piece of your time, that interesting or informative link is WAY down on the priority list, whereas it could have been great to digest the information earlier when you were sitting in that waiting room.
What if YOUR website was the one that got emailed, and then subsequently forgotten? That’s what we call a missed business opportunity.
If you have a truly mobile responsive website, you can avoid missing out on that potential client.
What a mobile responsive website is NOT
A mobile responsive website is NOT a separate website, on a different domain (usually m.yourdomain.com), that is stripped of all but the most essential information. The problem with separate mobile domains is that Google sees them as separate domains, which means all that effort you’ve been spending getting good search rankings for your main website – lost on an “m-dot” domain. You have to do the work twice.
A mobile responsive website is NOT a genericized plugin like WPTouch stuck on your site so that people on a mobile device will merely see a list of blog posts. These are also notoriously glitchy. Have you ever tried to look at a website on your desktop and gotten the mobile version by mistake? Not fun.
What a mobile responsive website IS
A mobile-responsive website is the same site – same links, same content – on every device. The only difference is that it is coded such that it will automatically resize its various elements for whatever size device it is being viewed on – whether it’s a 1200 x 800 monitor (the most common worldwide at 19.5% market share) or a 320 x 480 smartphone (11.4% market share). Of course, device size market share remains fluid, and probably changed while I was writing this sentence, which is what makes an adaptive design more important than ever. Resource: Global Screen Size Diversity infographic.
Back in 2008, the folks who make web standards in an attempt to keep it from being a code-monkey free-for-all out there recommended the “One Web” approach – that is, making “as far as reasonable, the same information and services available to users irrespective of the device they are using.” We are just now seeing the results of that today.
Not just the latest technology gimmick
If you’re like me, you’ve been around the block a few times. You’ve seen website fads come and go, including the evil Flash intro. Untold millions of dollars sunk into silly animations that actually keep people from getting to your website so they can spend money with you.
Mobile responsive isn’t just a gimmick, however – it’s the closest thing to future-proofing I can see, in a world that’s moving toward an infinite number of sizes of mobile, touchable interfaces.
Mobile responsive websites by Rowboat Media
Below are our three latest mobile responsive projects – and two out of three are repeat clients, which is our favorite kind of client in the whole world.
How mobile responsive affects development cost
While it’s rapidly becoming the standard, mobile responsive DOES increase the number of hours, and the skill level, put into both design and development, so you can expect it to cost a bit more than a standard, non-adaptive website, say 20-25%. But if having to pinch and zoom and scroll and email a link to themselves causes you to lose a client – isn’t it worth it?