Having a Mobile presence for your business has become a necessity. The methods you choose to bring your business mobile is entirely up to you. Recent surveys have shown that, by the end of 2013, customers will prefer to shop on a mobile device over a desktop. Consumers looking for products via mobile has increased four times since 2010. This is a clear indication that the lack of a mobile presence can hinder your connection to your existing & new customers.
Although methods of bringing businesses to mobile have varied tremendously in the past, recent times have proved Responsive Web Design to be the most efficient, inexpensive & time-saving option. Responsive Web Design admittedly comes with it’s own limitations & there’s been a lot said about it already, but I only wish to inspire existing businesses that don’t think about their mobile presence to start doing so, or it may greatly impact your business.
What exactly is Responsive Web Design? As Ethan Marcotte very cleverly coined the term, Responsive Web Design focuses on optimizing the existing web presence to make it more intuitive & mobile friendly with a minimal amount of resizing from the user’s end, and that works across a wide range of devices. This created a wave of developers who started thinking along similar lines & gave birth to rather even more practical concepts. Mobile first by Luke Wroblewski encourages developers to build for mobile first & target other screens later in the development process.
Advantages of going with Responsive Web Design:
1. Easy updates
Updating the content and meta data and adding images is done in the same conventional way. No specific knowledge is required since there’s only 1 site to maintain.
No additional costs are involved since you are only optimizing your existing site/application for your mobile audience. If you do not have in-house front-end developer, you should consider contacting a Front End Agency. There has been an ongoing debate about the pricing of responsive web design. Some say that it costs more than having a separate mobile site mostly because you have to hire a specific talent. The mobile site should also be tested on several real devices in the post development and pre-launch phase. However, I don’t see how this isn’t applicable to a separate mobile site.
3. Time required
The time involved is pretty minimal. It requires updating the markup structure (to fit the liquid requirement of RWD), going from absolute to a relative with your layout & typography measurements & adding media queries in your CSS to target various screen sizes. I admit that it may not be as easy for everyone but hiring a futuristic Front End Agency can help.
4. Mobile Analytics
With conventional separate mobile sites, it is difficult to set up a filter for fetching the data on a sub-domain. And, it’s a boring process. However, if your site is responsive, you can easily find out which of your visitors used a mobile device with just one filter in your analytics tool.
5. Accessibility & SEO benefits
- If your site/app deals mostly with dynamic content, use ARIA suite (Accessible Rich Internet Applications). It helps with dynamic content & complicated & way advanced user interfaces. It clearly defines the various parts/sections of the site/application. Such as Banner, Search, Navigation, Footer, Main Content, Sidebar.
- Also, using minimal, new HTML5 semantic tags goes without saying.
- Since you are maintaining only one site you have 1 URL & that
- Makes it way efficient for search engines’ link algorithms to work.
- Makes it easier on crawl efficiency & frequency so search engines can easily crawl more of your site
- Google recommends that your business goes MOBILE.
6. Because Google has recommended it now!
Here’s Google’s recommendation on Responsive Web Design. Google strongly recommends Responsive Web Design now & they began creating awareness about it since the last year after publishing an article evaluating ‘Separate mobile Site VS Responsive sites’ for the business.
The comparison table in the article above declares (in-directly) Responsive Web Design as a clear winner & continues to answer commonly asked questions but in a non-biased manner at the same time.
In the end, your requirement decides what’s right for you. Responsive Web Design will not always be the answer, but taking a look at where it can take your existing business surely has the potential to turn your profits around.
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