What is a responsive website?
In the past, websites were hosted at a fixed width (960px), however, with the advent of new technology, and with so many people now using a range of devices, website responsiveness is needed more now than ever. When a website is said to be mobile responsive, it means that it automatically adjusts several of its features (such as its layout, sizing, and proportion) to fit the width of whatever device it is being displayed without losing its aesthetic quality. This means that the site’s content is optimized to provide a good user experience on whichever mobile device it is displayed on.
Why is mobile responsive important?
In this present age of information and technology, statistics reveal that 57% of people will not recommend your business to their friends and family if your business’ website is not optimized for mobile users. Furthermore, one-quarter of all web-based searches are now conducted via mobile, as mobile users account for 15% of all internet traffic. Mobile phones are now the primary means through which people crawl the internet, and mobile web adoption is growing eight times as fast as web adoption did at the inception of the internet. With the range of mobile devices and tablets (with their various screen sizes and resolutions) available on the market today, it is almost irrefutable that having a responsive website which users have no difficulty engaging with on their various mobile devices, is vital to the growth and success of your business. Here are five reasons why mobile responsiveness is an important feature to add to your website:
- Optimized user experience: Mobile responsiveness ensures that a person who visits your website gets a personalized experience. This means that they can read text without necessarily having to zoom and that images fit their screen size perfectly. A unique, personalized, and responsive website is the best gift you can give to your audience.
- Increased search engine rankings: Websites that are not optimized for their various users generally see a decline in traffic. This means that people aren’t talking much about the site, neither are they sharing links to it. This can mean a huge decline in the website’s SEO ranking.
- Competitive advantage: 40% of online users say that they patronized a competitor’s website when a mobile site was unresponsive. Losing business to competitors is never a good thing, and optimizing your website to become mobile responsive is a great remedy to this.
- Improves your website’s analytics: Using a responsive website improves tracking and analytics because all the data can be found in one place.
- Beat Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm: A responsive website helps you rank for Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm. This algorithm pays attention to websites that display well on various devices and prioritizes them.
Furthermore, due to a better design aesthetic, a responsive website becomes easier to navigate; this increases the average time spent on the website and leads to a higher conversion rate.
How does mobile responsive differ from mobile-friendly?
There are often common misconceptions about mobile responsive versus mobile-friendly. The most important difference between both concepts is that a mobile responsive website changes its features to suit the user and their device, while a mobile-friendly website works the same way across a range of devices. The navigation on a mobile-friendly site is simplified, while that of a mobile responsive site is condensed. Responsiveness changes to accommodate the different screen sizes of devices while keeping the user experience in mind. Friendliness, on the other hand, has the same functionality regardless of device.
What are some tools to test mobile responsive websites?
1. Mobi Ready: This tool allows website developers, designers, and marketers to test their website’s mobile readiness, utilizing the industry’s top-notch practices and standards. It allows developers to receive in-depth analysis and recommendations to determine how effectively their site performs on mobile devices. It also allows you to store and compare your test results against the performance of your competitors, and grants you access to the software API. It does so by:
- Showing information on a desktop and multiple phone simulators.
- Giving you a detailed web page result with recommendations.
2. Mobile-friendly Test: This tool allows a website owner to test how easily (or not) a visitor can open and use their page on a mobile device by simply entering the page’s URL. The tool also alerts you about critical site errors (such as a security breach), and helps you manage how your content appears on the search engine results page. As the name suggests, the tool designs your websites to be mobile-friendly to ensure that your page performs well on all devices. It tells you:
- Whether or not your site is mobile friendly.
- Your mobile usability report.
3. Responsive Design Checker: this free tool is designed to test the responsiveness of a website against different device resolutions; it gives your website the flexibility to attractively display content regardless of the device size. With responsive design checker, you can craft designs for various screen sizes, while you maintain brand integrity, your layout, and the consistency of your user experience. It adjusts everything from image sizes to your site’s navigation structure to ensure that your user is guaranteed an optimized experience. It allows you to:
- Pick a testing device
- Choose the type of device.
A mobile responsive website will allow you to fully tap into the benefits of a fully engaged audience. It will boost your ranking on search engines, give you a competitive advantage, improve the experience people get from visiting your website, and, most importantly, significantly increase your conversion rates. Mobile responsiveness should however not be mistaken for mobile-friendliness; both concepts are important and play separate roles.
Mobile responsiveness is a good practice to keep in mind when thinking of creative ways to boost the overall user experience of your website. Users want to be able to interact with your brand as much as possible, and optimizing your website to become responsive is one good way to nurture that interaction.