What started out as a trend has now become an unstoppable tidal wave of change – mobile computing and responsive web design are here to stay. Depending on which set of studies and experts you believe, mobile web users will either become the majority online in 2015 or already did several months ago.
Either way, the point is clear: Marketing managers need to know the essentials of mobile and responsive web design so they can be ready for not only the customers who want to access their websites now, but also those who will want to visit on newer phones and tablets in the future.
Why Mobile Compatibility Is Such a Big Deal
There are three important factors driving the mobile compatibility revolution. We’ve already touched on the first, the widespread adoption of mobile web devices, which might be evident to you already. You don’t need to know that hundreds of millions of iPhones, Androids, iPads, and Kindles have already come into service in the last few years – you just have to look around at the tens of millions of people using them, including your colleagues, friends, and family members.
The second reason mobile compatible websites are a big deal is because Google is telling us it is a big deal. Google rarely makes formal announcements about when changes are coming but it is clear that on April 21st 2015, they are planning to make some changes. Warnings from Google should not be ignored and those who heed the warning succeed. Those who fail to follow the guidance will pay a price. History repeats itself. Some industry experts are speculating this could have more impact than the Penguin or Panda releases.
The third detail is less obvious, but just as important. The incredible amount of Internet marketing competition you find in almost every business or industry is creating a situation where your competitors are never farther than a click away. If your online presence isn’t mobile-compatible, customers can quickly find somewhere else to take their time, attention, and money. And, once they become used to another company’s website, you might not get another chance to bring them back.
The Difference Between Mobile and Responsive Web Design
So, if being mobile-compatible is the name of the game, how do you best accomplish that? Most marketing managers agree you have two competing choices: a dedicated mobile website or responsive web design.
A mobile business website is a stand-alone set of pages that is device- or platform-specific. Typically, it’s just like your normal website, except designed in a way that’s easier to see and interact with on mobile screens. For example, pages will likely be thinner, images could be smaller, and text boxes will be replaced with radio buttons or other options that are easier to click than type.
A responsive business website, on the other hand, is a single web presence that changes its display based on the screen size or browser it’s being viewed in. So even though it’s the same website with the same content, someone on a desktop computer could see a full-screen view while the visitor using an iPhone gets a slimmer version that’s easier to scroll up and down.
How to Choose the Mobile Functionality Your Business Needs
For most businesses, a responsive web design is going to be the easier, more cost-effective answer. After all, there’s only one website to keep updated with a responsive layout, and it can work for everyone.
One exception to the rule might be situations where a company has really high-volume mobile traffic or advanced mobile e-commerce needs. In those instances, a dedicated mobile website might make sense, even considering the added design and maintenance costs.
Finding the right mobile web solution is easy when you have the right team of experienced advisors on your side. If you aren’t sure what your company needs to succeed in Internet marketing in 2015 and beyond, why not pick up the phone and call the team at eye9 Design today to set a time for a free consultation?