Importance of a Mobile Friendly Website
The design of websites is changing frequently. Partly because we as website visitors would like to see something new; a slightly changed look & feel and not always the same content and visuals and partly because the medium which we use to watch websites is changing. Tablets, mini tablets, mobile phones and the latest addition Apple watch are demanding a change in design. What was good and well two or three years ago, is outdated in the present. Like fashion, also websites follow trends. These new trends are not necessarily initiated by designers, but are often a result of changes in the algorithm of search engine.
During the past few months we just witnessed the most significant change in website design. This change was forced by Google’s new algorithm. Google decided to “punish” websites, which are not mobile friendly. One might say this has not really an impact, but if your website is a major source of inquiries, requests, leads or even sales than such a change has a dramatic impact. Let’s take eBay as an example; eBay’s website does not comply with the new Google algorithm, the company is estimated to lose 5% of its revenues due to the new algorithm.
A lot of efforts by SEO companies and SEO specialists to assist bringing websites into dominant position in Google search are also seriously hampered should the site not be mobile friendly. Work, which lasted several months and cost the clients a good amount of money, was wasted.
The requirements for a mobile compliant website, which were made public, are not too many or very complicated to implement. A website should have larger fonts. This paying tribute to the relative small screen a mobile phone currently has compared to a PC or laptop. This leads also to the logical consequence that the navigation links should be spread out and not clubbed together. The third requirement is mobile viewpoint links. This is often achieved with a “more” button or a circle with three lines in the middle, indicating a “main menu” link.
But just implementing these changes to an existing website might not be a good idea as the current site was developed with other parameters in mind. Such parameters could be the wealth of information a website contains. Or, if we look at e-commerce websites, the careful listing of as many features and products is of utmost importance to make sure that interest and consequently sales are generated.
Instead of trying to implement the features mentioned above a company should consider a proper mobile site or to redesign the website and develop it responsive.
There are two schools of thought in respect of these two alternatives. It is true that responsive websites are less costly to develop, maintain and to up-date. However, the viewing patterns of people changes drastically during the day and the information requirements to draw from a site are different during different times of the day. To satisfy these viewing requirements the option of a proper, dedicated mobile website would look like the better alternative.