In today's world, more and more people are on the go looking up information. We have come to need websites that are as flexible as we are. How many times were you on the go, when someone has told you about a new product or service? You then pull out your phone to see what it's all about. The business/product's website you go to isn't responsive, and you have a horrible time getting around the site, pinching, and zooming to try, and read the text. If you are anything like me, I start to get tired of trying to find the information I'm looking for if it's not easily accessible and just abandon looking up more on the product (even if the product itself is great). This is why it's extremely important to have a website that works on any device that the user may be trying to access it from.
According to official Google statements from 2019, more than 50% of search queries globally now come from mobile devices.
An article from TechCrunch back in 2016, stated that it was the first year that mobile web users have surpassed desktop users, which no longer made marketing websites on desktop only an optional choice.
There’s even a good chance you’re reading this article on a mobile device.
Why have a responsive website?
Mobile website usage increasing
The more general marketing websites I work on, the more I'm starting to see a trend, with at least a 50% tablet/mobile market to 50% desktop/laptop market. At the very least, you should have your website work well on Desktop and Mobile. There are plenty of users that browse on a tablet, but that number is usually a bit lower compared to desktop/mobile users.
Better for User Experience (UX)
Keeping a consistent look and feel that's similar on type of device is better for brand recognition and how that user interacts with the website.
Building a fully responsive website does add extra hours to a web development project, but that extra up-front cost is worth it in the long run.
In my personal experience, the clients that say they don't care about responsive websites will soon regret that decision. Taking a site that isn't responsive at all, and trying to convert it over to a responsive website would be like asking for an apple pie, but then deciding you wanted blueberry instead. The crust is still there, but it would be much easier, just to make a new blueberry pie from scratch than fixing what's already there. Same goes with web development, the developer would be usually better off just re-building the website from scratch if a mobile experience wasn't in the original scope of work.
Google recommends it for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When Google Bots take a look at your website, there are multiple things that the search engine looks for. A new thing that it had started doing over the past few years is taking a look to see if it is optimized for the device the user is trying to view it on.
Say I have a regular non-responsive site that is all about toothpaste. When I go on a desktop, and type Hockey into Google, my page appears to be ranked first. But if I was to go to do that same search for toothpaste on a phone, my page about toothpaste may appear further down the page. With over half the searches coming from mobile nowadays, I'd be losing out on a good chunk of visibility/revenue.
Keep up with the competition
A mobile user is a lot more likely to stay at a website that is mobile-friendly. If your competitor's sites have a better web experience on a competitor's site, they are much more willing to go with that competitor's product.
There are a few exceptions to needing a mobile responsive website though. One example would be Internal Enterprise websites where the user is on a desktop/laptop for their day job. In cases like this though, the budget that would normally go towards responsive features would go toward better compatibility with legacy browsers. Another example of something that doesn't need to be responsive is a Kiosk or presentation application where the web-app is meant to only be viewed on one particular device.
If your website is a general marketing site, opt for a responsive website, or go with an agency that uses responsive websites by default. If you need help getting a new responsive website, feel free to contact me at my agency, Spaceray Creative.