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Online usage statistics reveal that mobile online search surpassed other device usage for this activity in early 2014. In Africa, with poor infrastructure and poorer, hardline, telephone connectivity, mobile internet has long been the predominant form of internet access.
In fact, because mobile networks connect over 80% of the population, many African internet users will never use a PC or laptop to access email, Facebook, banking or eCommerce. The experience of accessing websites via a PC will largely skip the younger generations of African users.
Most mobile unfriendly websites result in a bad user experience when viewed on a mobile device. This is mainly because navigation is so difficult and graphic design elements do not work properly. All the above and further technology developments towards smart wearable devices, mean that website design for mobile is no longer an option but absolutely essential.
Designing a website for mobile devices is an example of disruptive technology forcing industries to select an option to reinvent their online presence. With the majority of websites worldwide not suited for mobile devices there is a lot of reinvention going down. But we still see website designers building new websites that are not mobile friendly. And we also see poorly designed websites that indicate that the web designer is not up to date with the latest web design technologies. We see a lot of mis-selling and over-selling.
We still see a lot of website designs that are not mobile-friendly!
Early solutions to the problems created by mobile technology focused on designing separate websites for mobile phones. The thinking at that time was that you needed to design for a set of the most popular mobile devices - iPhone, Blackberry and Samsung. Creating Mobile websites in this way was always going to be an expensive interim solution.
As other mobile devices proliferated however, a further development of this thinking was to create websites for mobile that adapted to the specific screen dimensions of each device. Adaptive mobile design had some popularity but was also an expensive, cumbersome web development solution. A parallel development focused on providing mobile applications (Apps) that would address users needs for accessing information or transactions simply,online from mobile devices. Think of Mobile Banking Apps that are functionally designed to perform a limited range of functions on a mobile device.
Because Mobile applications are by definition not aimed at providing access to a complete website experience, they provide limited information about a brand, company or product.
Creating a separate mobile version of a website used to be a common practice, but the landscape of web design and web development has evolved significantly. Nowadays, the approach of using responsive web design is generally more favored. Here are the reasons why:
Responsive Design: Responsive web design allows your website to automatically adjust its layout, images, and content to fit the device it's being viewed on. This approach eliminates the need for a separate mobile site as the same website can effectively work across all devices including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Cost-Effective and Easier Maintenance: Managing one responsive website is typically less expensive and less time-consuming than maintaining two separate versions of a website. With a responsive design, you only need to update content once, and the changes are reflected across all devices.
Improved User Experience: A responsive website provides a better user experience. Users can access the same content and functionality regardless of the device they use, which contributes to a consistent and seamless experience.
SEO Benefits: Google and other search engines prefer responsive websites. Having a single responsive website rather than separate desktop and mobile versions avoids issues of duplicate content and simplifies the process of SEO optimization.
Increased Mobile Usage: With the increasing use of mobile devices to access the internet, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial. Responsive design ensures that your site will be easily accessible and navigable on smartphones and tablets.
Future Scalability: Responsive design is more adaptable to new screen sizes and devices. As new devices (like smartwatches, IoT devices) enter the market, a responsive website is more likely to accommodate these without needing a complete redesign.
In conclusion, while having a separate mobile version of your website is an option, it is generally more efficient and effective to use responsive web design. This approach is not only cost-effective but also aligns with current best practices in web design, providing a better overall user experience and aligning with SEO best practices.
The latest approach to websites for mobile has seen responsive web design emerge as a lasting preferred solution. Responsive website design means that you do not need a separate website for mobile, and you may also not need a mobile app. With Responsive web design a single website will work equally well on Mobile, Tablet or PC. There are other Advantages of Responsive Web Design too.
For business owners a responsive website that works across all browsers and devices makes a separate mobile website completely unnecessary.
All ITM website designs are responsive. Contact us or Get A Quote to convert your existing website, quickly and affordably.
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