Is your website responsive? And does it matter?

(Classified under: Web Design)

Posted on 18 August 2015

Let's start with an answer to the second question... Yes, YES, YES!

In 2015, more people use the Internet on their mobile devices than via their desktop or laptop computers. So if your website isn't mobile-friendly ("mobile responsive" or simply "responsive"), then potentially more than half of the visitors to your website aren't seeing your products, services or information on your website as easily as you may wish.

Worse than that, Google recently changed the way that it works out what order websites appear in its search results. If you have a smartphone-friendly website, well happy days!  But if not, then your listing on smart phones will be pushed down by other websites that are responsive. And that's not good...

So how do you know if your website is responsive?

One way is to simply load your website on your phone and see how readable the site is. The try navigating around the site - select menu items, click on links, and generally put the site through its paces...

Here are two website examples as seen on a smart phone - the first is a website that is responsive, the second is not... Can you imagine using the second one on your smartphone?!

Screenshot from the mobile-responsive Used Equip website  Non-responsive web page

The first site (another Clark Equipment site we've developed - is very readable at mobile resolution and the buttons are big enough to see what you're clicking on and not click on anything else at the same time!

The second site is actually the website from back in 2004 (courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine) from a time when our phones were only good for making telephone calls! The site illustrates my point very nicely however - you can't easily read the information on the page (at least without zooming) and goodness-only-knows what link you'd actually be pressing if you've got thumbs as big as mine!

Another way to test your website is to go to the Google Mobile-Friendly Test page. Here you can enter a URL and Google will very kindly do the analysis for you, and even provide you with screenshots.

So if your website isn't responsive and you'd like to do something about it, please let us know.

NB: Information presented here is general in nature, does not take into account your particular situation and should not be used in place of professional IT consultation.