I apologise for two WordPress blogs in a row driven by incredulity and rage but this is another important issue where someone I know is being given bad advice.
The advice was ‘you don’t really need responsive design unless you are in tourism or focus on young people because your clients won’t really be using mobile phones’.
This advice is really quite blinkered and patronising, and I will explain why you need to have your website upgraded to responsive design now, especially if you are actively developing your marketing content through email and social media.
What is responsive design?
Responsive design is a principle in modern web design that lets your web pages bend and fold when people are browsing your site on small screens like mobile phones and tablets.
It does not mean your site squeezes onto the screen, rendering it unreadable.
It means different elements reposition themselves so the page flows, making sure the font/typing remains the legible size it would be on a larger screen.
Newsflash for web designers living under rocks
While many web developers held out against making websites mobile friendly for a long time, largely due to laziness and fear of the unknown, the world has kept marching forward.
Google has noted that web searches conducted on mobile phones have increased 500 per cent in the last two years.
This statistic alone says to me that old assumptions that the only people using mobile phones to do Google research would be young people or people on the street needing directions to local outlets or destinations.
Where the bad advice at the beginning of the article gets me angry is that EVEN if a client’s clients are not the types who CHOOSE to do their mobile research while on their phones, there are many reasons that might lead them to their small screens.
Firstly, if you are blogging and emailing links to blogs into the marketplace, there is a very high chance your recipients will be checking email on their phones.
Imagine if they like the sound of your article, click the link, and then get taken to a screen they can’t read.
Secondly, if you are sharing links to your web content through social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, imagine a link being shared to a new prospective customer while on their phone.
Most Australian social networking users use mobile devices to check in. If they click on the shared link to one of your intriguing articles but the link takes them to a site that is impossible to read on a phone without pinching and dragging the content, consider it a wasted effort.
Take action, be ‘responsive’
If you have a website already, pester your web developer to make it responsive.
If you have one of our earlier WordPress Websites, please email us to quote on upgrading you to the current version.
If you have bought one of our WordPress Starter Pack website packages this calendar year, you are fine – your site will be natively responsive.
Of course, you might have no website yet, in which case, our Starter Pack or a bespoke WordPress website might be what you need. Talk to us to see if we can help.