Whether a freelance developer or running a business, it’s the duty of every web designer to make sure clients get the best possible solutions for their needs. Although the customer has an ultimate say in how the site is developed, there is still a need to sell certain aspects that have more significant impacts on success. In this case, it’s the use of responsive web design.
Having excellent web hosting is only part of making a website shine among an ocean of digital content. Because of the impact mobile technology has made on the world, clients must understand how important responsive design is. Otherwise, their websites may not perform as intended.
And guess who many of those clients will blame if the prospect of mobile-friendly design isn’t brought up?
Explain Mobile User Engagement
It’s one thing to tell a client that responsive design is essential. It’s a whole different experience when you cite facts to support claims. For example, approximately 80 percent of people who have smartphones use them to access the Internet. This means that responsive design needs to be a part of the development strategy.
Mobile technology continues to advance to the point where many people use smartphones and tablets more often than their computer systems. This is one of the reasons why mobile access to the Internet has superseded that of desktops and laptops.
Accessing a site from a mobile device gives visitors freedom of movement. For instance, someone looking at a billboard can quickly look up the brand on the Internet. Instead of relying on the traditional traffic of people at home or at work surfing the web, people are able to do it while on the move.
By the end of 2016, 20.8 percent of all purchases online originated from mobile devices. This has been a steadily growing trend since the second quarter of 2010. Without a mobile website of some kind to engage those consumers, any company will lose out on a lot of income in the coming years.
How Mobile Design Impacts Sales
Approximately 40 percent of visitors will move on to a competitor’s website if they have problems. This reinforces how vital a fluid and easy-to-use website is in the market today. If the site is centered around eCommerce, almost half of potential sales are going to someone else.
Even local businesses benefit from mobile optimization. Nearly 80 percent of searches for nearby businesses from mobile devices lead to a sale. By simply promoting a more accessible experience for local consumers, businesses could reap the benefits.
As the Internet continues to grow at a fantastic pace, the prospect of competition is also growing. Whether it’s multi-million dollar corporations or a micro-business in someone’s basement, there are new sites developing every second. When it comes to achieving success, the Internet gives a great deal of power to organizations of any size. That is, as long as there is a strong marketing campaign involved.
Companies who do not opt to build a mobile-friendly experience are essentially handing over money to competing brands. It’s that simple.
The Coding is Continuously Simplified
When the responsive design became popular, it was a bit of a trick to get it to work correctly. However, technological advancements and programming have made this format much easier for developers. Instead of a site that had graphics spilling out of the visual display of a smartphone, everything adjusts to the size of the device.
These more manageable implementations for development have made responsive design cheaper to perform than it was prior to 2010. Thanks to advancements in PHP, HTML5 and CSS, almost any website can look fabulous without it costing a great deal of money.
What about existing sites?
Unfortunately, some site designs may take a bit to adapt to current practices when developing a responsive layout. Of course, this depends on how complex the coding is and how it was formatted when first developed. In some cases, a completely new layout and overhaul are necessary. The trade-off is a site that is more adaptive to use technology over the long term.
Is there a way to “future-proof” web design?
While some experts believe that some responsive designs have potential to outlive everyone, no one can say with 100 percent certainty that mobile browsing will be around forever. Think about. In 1999, using frames was a great way to promote using a never changing left navigation bar while altering the primary display. Now, that technology is far obsolete and considered bad practice. What will the Internet turn into tomorrow?
One Site to Rule Them All
Responsive design is often more attractive to clients than mobile-only versions. Instead of essentially duplicating a website, everything can be accessed from one URL. What does this mean for the client?
- Reduced risks of delivering 404 errors to pages that have yet to be copied.
- Less impact on server resources, especially size allocations.
- Less work involved when updating the site or creating content.
- One URL to market, whether it’s to a computer or mobile users.
- Search engine optimization is more accessible as it only focuses on one layout instead of two…which can wind up competing for the same visitors.
Once the overall layout for content is developed, it can be ultimately easy for a client to maintain. While the developer may still be needed for technical issues or additions later on, posting content can be a breeze for the customer.
For example, many developers will create responsive themes for WordPress for clients. Once the theme is built, the client only has to worry about adding blog posts or products to sell. Everything is pretty much automated from this system.
It all starts with excellent as a foundation for design. However, an excellent host means nothing if the website’s layout is substandard. While no developer can force a responsive design on a client, it’s in everyone’s best interest to at least provide the facts. After all, a successful client is more likely to share the developer’s contact information with other professionals in need of design services.