Developments since my post ‘Responsive websites go mainstream‘ in June are coming thick and fast. We’ve now launched numerous responsive websites and our own site will be getting the responsive treatment very soon.
Just to recap, a responsive website is one that adapts it’s size (and content) to suit the device it is being viewed on. A fixed width site simply looks very small on a mobile, whereas a responsive site is the right size, easy to read and hopefully gives you the content you want to see, given you’re out and about.
The rise in the use of different devices to view websites is growing rapidly. Little mobiles, big mobiles, tablets, mini tablets, laptops, desktops, large screen TV’s, you get the picture. The idea of simply designing a site at one width, for a standard desktop screen, is already starting to feel a bit backward. Just do a personal review, how many devices do you have? What % of your browsing is on a standard desktop screen? If you’re ‘average’ then you’ll be browsing on mobile or tablet roughly 20% of the time. Certainly the stats I see from a variety of different websites bear this out, the range is normally between 10 and 30%.
Now, just throw in the roll-out of superfast 4G network next year, the new iPhone 5, the potential iPad mini, the Kindle Fire at only £129, and the numerous other inexpensive devices that you can browse on. Surely we’re all going to be browsing wherever we want, rather than just at our desktops, looking at fixed width websites?
So is the fixed width website dead? Well yes, and no. For some businesses the likely mobile and tablet use is very high, take restaurants and pubs, you’re in town, looking for a place to eat using your mobile, you need to be able to read the menu and just click a button to call. For other business sites displaying well on mobiles may be less important, take an educational reference site for example.
As ever, the direction you go is down to your audience and their habits. For some sites being responsive will be critical, for others less so. Some sites may consider the mobile to be more important that the desktop and employ a ‘mobile first’ design approach. Others may be happy with just a desktop site but find a specific app very useful. One thing is certain, you need to consider how your site displays on different devices, what you want to show and the functionality you need.
If your interested in developing a responsive website or making your existing site responsive (which we can do), then please give us a call on 01380 728 898.