Mobile Website Design
The days of building websites exclusively for desktop are long gone. Mobile website design is crucial in the current web development environment. Over 30% of all Internet activity takes place on some sort of mobile device. Mobile web platforms consist of iOS, Droid, Windows and many others. The sizes of these devices varies extensively. Even the difference between a smart phone and a iPad is extreme. A website that looks good on a full widescreen monitor will not translate well onto a handheld device. Viewing a website that was created exclusively for desktop, on one of these devices only serves to frustrate the user. How many times have you loaded a site on a smart phone only to hit the back button immediately because the words were so tiny you couldn’t even read them? A button or link that is prominent on the desktop is so tiny on a handheld device that it’s impossible to click.
Mobile website development needs to be able to respond to all of these platform variations, being able to display the content in a user-friendly way.
Responsive Web Design
What is Responsive Web Design? RWD is when a mobile site is created in such a way that when it’s loaded through browser, the site itself determines the platform, and loads accordingly, based on specific instructions in the code. Responsive websites do just that… they respond. When you create a responsive, mobile website, it has resolution breaking points that tell it how to look on various platforms. It may have one layout on a desktop, while presenting the same content and information in a different way on a smartphone. It could even be different between iPad Mini and an iPad Air, depending on the breaking points.
Responsive websites are the new norm in mobile website design. There’s no way in getting around it. Studies show that just because someone is using a mobile device, it doesn’t mean they are mobile. Even while at home, many people will still use their smart phone or tablet to browse the Internet, even if there’s a desktop computer available. Studies also show that this trend is only going to increase.
A responsive mobile website design must look good on any and all platforms. This is also another factor in the Google algorithm, that may help your website rank higher than another website that may be equal to yours in content, but is not responsive.