In this digital age, where everyone is glued to their smartphones, you’ve probably heard the term ‘mobile responsiveness’ before. ‘Is your website mobile responsive?’ someone might have asked you – and if you didn’t really know the answer, don’t worry: you’re not alone!
Luckily, we’re here to help you with an easy everyman’s guide to mobile responsiveness. Read on for everything you need to know about this concept, and why it’s an important consideration for your business.
What is mobile responsiveness?
Put simply, mobile responsiveness means the ability of a website to automatically resize its content when displayed on mobile devices.
This is not to be confused with mobile friendly – sites that look the same on mobile devices, but are still functional – or mobile optimised, which refers to an entirely separate site designed specifically for mobile devices.
Mobile responsive refers to a single site that changes itself in response to the size of the device it is being viewed on. This means that no matter whether the viewer is using a laptop, mobile phone, tablet or other device, the site will resize itself to fit each particular vessel.
How do I know if my site is mobile responsive or not?
To find out if your website is mobile responsive, you’ll need to view it on several different mobile devices. Visit your site on a computer, a mobile phone and a tablet and observe its appearance on each.
A site that is not mobile responsive will most likely not display properly on a mobile device. Keep an eye out for things like images and headers, which will usually fail to resize themselves on a non-responsive site and might not be fully visible. Navigation is also more difficult when viewing a non-responsive site on a mobile device. Scrolling becomes awkward and/or slow, and text input is difficult.
To determine mobile responsiveness, you can also visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyse your site’s performance across all devices.
What can I do to implement mobile responsiveness?
If you’ve determined that your website is not mobile responsive, it’s time to make a change. If you employed a tech professional to create your site, consult with them to discuss the possibility of making it responsive.
If you created the site yourself with the help of a site builder like Squarespace, look into the builder’s capacity to display its websites on mobiles (this should be noted on the provider’s website).
Alternatively, if you’re using a website theme on a platform such as WordPress, double check to ensure that it is a mobile responsive theme. If it isn’t, switch to one that is. Be careful, though – mobile responsive themes aren’t always fully functional on their own. You may require additional code or plugins for image and video resizing.
And speaking of video resizing – that’s one of the trickiest parts involved with implementing mobile responsiveness. You’ll need to do your research according to your site’s video content, and perhaps even consider getting a professional to take a look if you’re having problems.
Unlike an image, which can be dealt with relatively easily, a video is much harder to resize responsively. You also need to consider things such as the fact that most mobile devices do not use Flash (the common platform for displaying video in web browsers). Therefore, you can’t rely on Flash embedded videos to be responsive on a mobile site.
What happens if I don’t make my website mobile responsive?
You might be wondering whether all this trouble is worth it. ‘Does my site really need to be fully mobile responsive?’ you may ask. Well, the answer to both of these things is yes: your site does need to be mobile responsive, and it is worth it.
Think about it. These days, most consumers use their mobile devices to access websites quickly and easily. If they visit your website on a mobile device and find it difficult to use due to its unresponsiveness, how long do you think they’ll keep trying to navigate it? Not long – and you’ll be losing potential customers and clients with every failed visit.
So don’t hesitate – put in the effort to make your site mobile responsive, and your business will reap the benefits!