There was a time when people could only access the internet on a PC, but those days are well and truly in the past. Here in 2014, the humble desktop computer is just one of many, many different ways in which we can get online, and your customers are now just as likely to see your website on a mobile phone as on a proper computer.
This could well be a problem for you. Just because your company's website looks great and functions perfectly on a PC doesn't mean that it will work just as well on a smartphone; in fact, if the site wasn't made with mobile devices in mind, there's a very strong chance that it will be next to unusable. Smartphone usage is going up every day, so simply ignoring your mobile traffic won't be a viable option for long - you'll either have to find a way to give those visitors a good user experience, or face the fact that you're going to lose them to a competitor who was prepared to make that extra effort.
Once you've decided to make the leap to mobile, there's another big decision to make: do you create an app for your business, or plump for a responsive website that will look good on screens of any size? This is a hotly-debated topic, and we at Designer Websites couldn't resist throwing in our 2p. Here are some pros and cons:
- Stays with the user, remaining on their device after download
- Designed specifically for mobile - no need to change the desktop version of your site
- Can incorporate 'push notifications' to keep the user coming back
- Download required (demands more commitment from the user)
- May be hard to find in the App Store (what does your business share its name with?)
- Your website will still look poor on mobile devices
- No search engine presence
- Attractive, user-friendly, and consistent across all devices
- SEO-friendly (your business is more likely to appear in search results)
- No download or commitment required from user (unlike apps)
- Less permanent than an app - doesn't stay with the user
- Requires a redesign of your current site
So which is the right choice? To be honest, it depends on your business and what you're trying to achieve. For our part, though, we'd always recommend a responsive site over an app, simply because it ensures that all users are seeing the same information and getting a consistent user experience. Click here to learn more about responsive design, or click here to get a quote for a responsive site of your own.