Is Your Site Optimized For Mobile Use?

April 14th, 2015 by

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Consumers accessing websites via mobile is increasing at an astonishing rate. Is your site fully optimized to meet the demand?

Cisco recently released a report showing mobile network growth in the year 2014. Although the increase in mobile data usage is nothing new, the rate at which it’s growing is surprising.

In only one year:

  • Mobile data traffic increased by 69%
  • Almost a half a billion mobile devices and connections were added
  • Last year, more devices were connected on just the mobile network than the entire internet in 2000.

If these statistics aren’t amazing enough, take a look at any bus stop and note just how many people are staring down at their mobile device.

Most of us have accepted that this is the direction in which technology is moving. The smartphone has become an item that the majority of Americans would never leave behind. For many, a smartphone is a mandatory tool for doing business on the go, in addition to checking social media, reading an RSS feed, and numerous other daily tasks.

It’s insights like these that show why it’s so important that your site is responsive for desktop, mobile and tablet use. By responsive, we mean that no matter what device is used, your site reacts to accommodate the change in screen size. Chances are that you will receive just as much (if not more) traffic from smaller screened devices than traditional computer screens. In the same study from Cisco, it is predicted that by 2019, mobile use will account for over three-quarters of the world’s mobile data traffic, making desktops and laptops the minority.

With these predictions it is vital to make your site responsive in order to cater to the needs of your audience, and also not alienate potential customers. This can be done a few different ways and how you can accomplish it will entirely depend on the complexity of your site and your technical knowledge.

Websites need to be flexible. This starts with the initial design of the site. If your site’s design is too complex to be responsive, you might be better off rethinking your ideas and coming up with something simple enough to be displayed on a cell phone screen. You could, however, come up with an entirely different mobile version of your site if you decide that you’d rather keep the design-led desktop option – indeed many sites display completely differently on a mobile from the desktop version.

Once you’ve come up with a design that can truly be made responsive, it’s time to hit the code. If you’ve hired a developer, he or she should be capable of optimizing your site for mobile use. If you’re building the site on your own you can refer to online guides to help you. W3 Schools and Stack Overflow are two sources that may be useful as you work on your site.

The most popular (and usually the most effective) way to make your website responsive is by using Bootstrap. Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS and JS framework used to build responsive sites. This framework is geared towards a mobile-first design and is regularly used by both professional developers and beginning web designers alike.

If all of this talk about code and Bootstrap is something you’d rather not deal with, then look no further than our Website Builder. This easy-to-use website builder helps you create an entire website using drag and drop features and doesn’t require any coding knowledge. You can build a professional looking and functioning site in a short amount of time, leaving you to focus on other matters of business. The best part about our website builder is that your created site can be fully responsive. Use the preview tool to see exactly how your site will render on a desktop, mobile phone and tablet.

Whichever route you decide to take, make sure your site is optimized for any kind of screen. Just as the research shows, the mobile age is upon us. Is your site fully mobilized?

WestHost is always here to lend a helping hand. Contact WestHost support if you have any questions on our Website Builder or other WestHost services.

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