04 Aug Convert Your Website to Mobile
If you have an existing website that is not mobile-friendly, you are effectively locking your front doors to large and growing percentage of web visitors. “Large” is not very descriptive, so I’ll have to elaborate.
In 2013, about 14% of all Internet traffic worldwide is from mobile device. This mobile web use statistic grows in leaps each year. In 2010, mobile devices accounted for just 1% of web traffic. eMarketer.com estimates that in 2013 about 15% of all U.S. retail purchases will be made from a mobile device, which is an increase of 4% over last year.
Ignore mobile growth at the peril of your online business
Early adopters of mobile websites and responsive mobile design, were e-commerce websites. They adopted early because they realize the potential loss of sales would be enormous. Though 14% of e-commerce transactions in the U.S. were made from a mobile device (no small number), about 25% of shopping-related searches were conducted on a mobile device. Smart companies knew that frustrating these searchers could easily translate to a lost sales, particularly if your competitor’s website is mobile-friendly. If you offer a service and not products for sale online, the wisdom still translates.
As mobile internet use increases, mobile-ready website design, or making your website mobile-ready becomes paramount. If your website is not mobile-ready now, don’t worry, it’s never to late to improve. Now is a great time. Early on, many web developers created mobile-only versions for their clients, depending on scripting to detect the mobile device viewing the website and tailoring the experience to that device. This was costly and time consuming and sometimes meant maintaining two websites: one for desktop and one for mobile.
For the past few years, responsive web design has become the technology for delivering mobile content. The strategy, design one site that scales to mobile. The benefit to people wanting to mobilize their website is that if implemented during design, the cost is relatively small, and, even if a site needs retrofitting to a responsive framework, it won’t break the bank.
How can I make my website mobile?
There are a couple of economical options for converting (retrofitting) an existing website to mobile-ready design. The choice depends upon a few things: your budget, the size of the website, current traffic and others. If the site is small, it is sometimes easier to completely redesign, starting with a responsive mobile framework rather than fitting the current design into such a framework. If the site has numerous pages (50+ to be arbitrary, many graphics, video and other web assets) the time to do the retrofit increases, though sooner or later, a mobile redesign will be necessary given the exponential growth of mobile web usage.
Starting the conversion of your large site now may save you in the long run. Smaller websites with marginal traffic might also consider converting to a responsive, customized WordPress installation. There are free responsive templates that can be customized or your current design can be made into a WordPress theme. Though your current web page file names will be changed within WordPress, 301 redirects (permanent redirects from the old page to the new page) can take care of that. There is always some risk of losing some ranking and traffic as Google and other search engines adjust the way the site is indexed, but if you have marginal traffic at the moment, or believe the risk is worth consider the gains, this may be the least expensive option. If the risk of losing ranking and traffic is great, then keeping your website file structure as is while either designing a responsive site from scratch or retrofitting the current design, are two options. The third option, is creating a second, mobile-only website. This options is not frequently recommended these days because it means maintaining two websites.
Free mobile web design consultation
If you are considering making your website mobile, take advantage of a mobile web design consultation. After a thorough consultation, we’ll provide a free estimate. If you are looking for other Vancouver web design services, feel free to call 778-996-9583 and we’d be happy to answer your questions.