2017 is here, and by now most of us are aware of the massive shift towards mobile first web design. The majority of web content is being consumed via smartphones and tablets, and the trend is showing no sign of slowing down. As we continue moving towards mobile first content consumption, we continue to adapt our content delivery methods and ensure that we are meeting expectations and keeping up with the growing demand.
While the importance of having, a mobile-friendly website would seem to be common knowledge at this point, a surprising number of websites and content providers still operate on static, non-responsive layouts.
The problem with having a static website goes beyond not having content that users can consume on mobile a device. It can greatly affect your page rankings based on Google’s newest algorithms which take mobile first design into great consideration. Over the course of this article, we will highlight these changes and share insight on this often overlooked subject.
The State of the Web
As of October 2016, the number of users accessing the web via mobile devices exceeding those using traditional desktop computers, with mobile usage at 51.3% and desktop usage at 48.7%. Not only did this happen, it happened extremely fast, with mobile usage only accounting for 30% of web traffic in 2013. That is more than 18% growth in 3 years.
What does this mean? Well, it certainly means the days of static websites being viewed on CRT monitors are long behind us. Developers are no longer building websites with tools like Adobe Dreamweaver or straight HTML-based sites. The state of web development has shifted quickly to address the need of mobile first design. Today the tools used to meet the demand are often mobile frameworks built to expedite the development process while also ensuring the best mobile compatibility. The methods today include the popular Bootstrap and Foundation frameworks, with popular CMS platforms such as Hubspot adopting these new technologies.
With our love for being on the go and mobile aside, what is the main driver for this rapid transition in website design? The answer is Google, and more importantly, search engine optimization.
In 2016, Google announced a new and improved method for ranking websites based on mobile first design. It’s important to note that the ranking is based on a per page basis, meaning that having responsive code on just your homepage won’t cut it.
Desktop computers will likely be around for some time to come. However, ignoring the clear transition to mobile platforms is running the risk of putting your content at a clear disadvantage. Your viewers are visiting your website on mobile devices, without a question. It’s important to recognize this and ensure you are providing a quality experience for these users. With the new year comes the perfect opportunity to re-visit your website design and make the changes needed.
There are a few ways to check the state of your website's responsive design:
Do you need to transition your website to a mobile-first design? KBK Communications can help!