When I first began designing websites - a long way back in internet terms - in the late 1990's, things were much simpler. Little completition, little sophistication, little anything! Nowadays, the landscape is vastly different, and the industry has fragmented into many niche sectors - design, mail, SEO, and more. It's harder and harder as a small business to be all things to everyone. That's why we decided to move away from offering anything much in the way of off-page SEO and concentrate on what we did well - design and implementation.
Mobile websites - good or bad?
When mobile website first began appearing, they were totally separate sites to the main desktop/laptop site. You'd see different URLS - m.citruskiwi.com or mobile.citrsukiwi.com (don't bother following those links as they won't work!). These were all well and good - they DID display on mobile devices well, but they often lacked much of their bigger cousin's functionality and were, therefore, very frustrating to use. They also had the huge drawback that they required maintaining 2 individual websites. Sure, they shared content, but the framework was different.
In 2010 the term "Responsive website" was coined, but it's not really till this year that responsive websites have exploded. Very simply put, a responsive website is one which detects the device, and size of that device, that the site is being displayed on, and adapts the display to that. In the case of many tablets, especially in landscape, this means no change. However, for iPhones or smartphones, this may mean changes to the way the menu displays and the content is presented. The benefit of this method is that only one site is required, and, by and large, all content from the desktop site is still available.
Responsive sites - why bother?
There are some challenges in designing responsively, so why even bother? Conside these stats from Google:
77% of smartphone owners use their phone for search engines every week.
75% of mobile users state that a lack of a mobile website hurts a brands image.
With the number of mobile phones worldwide expected to exceed the population by 2014, having a mobile-viewable site isn't a luxury, but a necessity. These stats will only grow and you, the business owner, cannot afford to be left behind without a mobile ready site.
The CitrusKiwi responsive website solution
We like to think we keep up with technology so we have been designing resposive sites for some time. What that means is, when we deliver a new website, it will run nicely on all the major browsers on a desktop as well as mobile platforms. To us, and to our clients, this is a no-brainer. We want our clients to have the maximum positive exposure on the web - and that means mobile ready sites.
If your website doesn't play well on a mobile device, ask yourself, "Is my site really telling people we're up with the times?". If not, talk to us - now!