If you haven’t been paying attention to mobile-friendly web development trends in professional website design, now is the time to start. As of April 21, 2015, Google has updated its ranking algorithms to give preference to mobile-compatible sites in its search rankings on mobile devices. If you’ve lost site traffic due to this update, there’s no need to panic; once you get your site updated, you should see your rankings improve again. But given that every lost visitor is also potentially a lost lead, you’ll want to get started on a new professional website design as soon as possible.
When it comes to designing for mobile, there’s a lot of information flying around. Much of this is technical, and can be left to the web design agency you hire to oversee your development process. But there are some common myths about mobile design that you should know not to fall for as you start the process of moving toward mobile:
- Myth #1: Mobile Design Is All About the Size of the Screen
Screen size is a primary concern when it comes to mobile, of course — you’ll want to make sure that on your new site, all text and images can be viewed with no panning, and that all text is readable without zooming. But that’s not all good mobile design addresses; you’ll want to make sure important pages are accessible with a minimum of clicking, load times are reasonable and no buttons are close enough together to be accidentally tapped.
- Myth #2: Mobile-Friendly Sites Don’t Work Well on Desktops
Most professional website designs that fall under the mobile-friendly heading these days are actually responsive websites. That means that they automatically recognize what kind of device is accessing them and reconfigure themselves accordingly. So there’s absolutely no reason you should feel torn between catering to your mobile visitors vs. your more traditional ones.
- Myth #3: Responsive Sites Are Always the Best Mobile Option
It’s important to note, however, that responsive web design isn’t always the best route. Depending on the kind of content on your site, you may be able to get faster load times by going with a mobile-specific URL (m.yoursite.com, for example) that mobile visitors are automatically redirected to.
- Myth #4: Getting a Mobile-Friendly Design Will Be Expensive
Unsurprisingly, many businesses are concerned about the cost of updating their websites for mobile accessibility. First of all, it’s important to remember that not updating has costs too, in the form of lost business opportunities. But you’ll probably also be relieved to know that mobile-friendly website design is now standard and shouldn’t cost you a bundle. You should also keep in mind that in many cases it will be more affordable to have a new responsive website built from scratch than to modify your current one.
- Myth #5: Mobile-Friendly Sites Replace Mobile Applications
Many responsive or mobile-specific sites look almost app-like in their design, but that doesn’t mean you can write off mobile apps altogether. They still offer more convenience and improved functionality, and that’s valuable especially if you depend on repeat customers for your income. Depending on what kind of business you’re running, mobile app design may still be a profitable route to consider.
What other aspects of professional web design do you think business owners should be better educated about? Join the discussion in the comments.