To remain competitive in any industry, your business needs a mobile-friendly website in order to ensure a pleasant, effortless user experience and to encourage customer loyalty. In addition, Google will penalize your search engine rankings for not providing mobile-friendly content.
In a June 2013 post on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, Yoshikiyo Kato and Pierre Far wrote, “Smartphone users are a significant and fast growing segment of Internet users, and at Google we want them to experience the full richness of the web.” These experts go on to say, “To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.” Click here to read more about why Google demotes websites for non-compliance.
So you know that you need a mobile-friendly website. Should you create a separate one for smartphones or rebuild your existing one so that it adjusts to any screen size? As a business owner, you must find a solution, both for your immediate mobile needs and for those of the future. What are your choices?
- Hire a web developer to build a mobile website, one separate from your desktop version.
- Install a mobile “plugin” if you own a WordPress website.
- Hire a web developer to rebuild your site so that it is responsive to any screen type, desktop or mobile.
What is a responsive website design?
A responsive website automatically adjusts any smartphone, tablet, or laptop screen size or orientation (landscape or portrait). Depending on the device, images resize, navigation menus often reconfigure, and slideshows resize or purposely disappear on-the-fly. A responsive website is fully-functional. For example, those with shopping carts create a seamless buying experience on any desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.
Pros of a Separate Mobile Website
- A mobile website design is often a quick and less expensive solution.
- Mobile sites usually perform well on every smartphone.
Cons of a Separate Mobile Website
- Mobile sites require maintenance. For example, mobile plugins installed into WordPress sites must be periodically updated for the newest technology.
- Many mobile sites require content updates, so you will updating your web pages in two locations.
- Because a mobile site uses a subdomain, your primary site (or “Top Level Domain”) will not gain as much equity from links shared through mobile browsers.
Pros of a Responsive Website
- You will not need a subdomain, just your Top Level Domain.
- You will only need to update one website to change or add content.
- You will know that you are delivering an optimized user experience on any device – not just smartphones.
- A responsive design is a forward-thinking approach to web development as new devices are introduced every year.
Cons of a Responsive Website
- A responsive website redesign is often more time-consuming and may be more costly.
- If you own a WordPress website, you will likely need to change your site “theme” to a responsive one, which must be done by a web developer with extensive WordPress knowledge.
Recommended Solution: Responsive Design
Many business owners might loathe the thought of a website redesign; however, the benefits of designing one site that delivers a superior user experience across all devices will be worth the effort in the future. Plus, you will know that Google isn’t penalizing your search ranking because of non-compliance.
Although it is exciting to think about how the user experience has improved in just a few years and what it might be like in the future, it also means websites need to be updated. Due to ever-changing web standards, developers often find it necessary to rebuild websites that are as little as five years old. If you are planning to rebuild your website, make sure that it is responsive.
Are you ready to make your site responsive? The experts at Paveya are here to help. Click here to get a quote on redesigning your website.