Web Talk

WELCOME to the latest edition of Web Talk, helping Kirklees website owners to prosper online.

Browsing the web on a mobile is now something that we all do every day, but why is it important for website owners to ensure your new sites are built from the mobile up? Here’s why…

Mobile-first website design

Responsive design is now the norm, that’s because there are now more than 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide and counting (in the USA 25 per cent of all mobile web users only use mobile, they no longer use laptop and desktop devices at all), but there has been a change in the methodology behind the development of responsive websites.

Traditionally websites have been made to suit different devices by starting with the largest (desktop) and then working out how to fit everything into each size on the way down to the smallest (mobile) – including when to introduce additional menus and features to assist in navigation.

The idea was always to show as much possible information at each stage whilst ensuring the user experience was maintained.

Recently there has been a shift towards mobile-first design being the most common, starting with the smallest size and expanding the layout and features up to full size.

Why mobile first?

In 2010 Google announced that they would be taking a mobile-first approach, but it has taken a long time for the industry to adopt.

This is because even though there have been a growing number of mobile web users, desktop has still outweighed them, but the balance has now very much shifted.

Having a website that is built from the mobile up means that it performs faster.

Instead of taking the full size and squeezing it into your mobile device memory, building the optimum mobile sized site means that it will run at its optimum performance at each stage.

Larger devices tend to have more memory and can handle more code, and so this frees up certain features that work badly on mobile, reserving them for the larger size.

The process of working from the mobile up is known as progressive enhancement (rather than graceful degradation) and for all new websites this should be the way the design is produced and the coding is developed.

You will find that the website is more user-friendly on the smaller devices, it loads quicker, and as well as the enhanced usability, you should see some search engine ranking benefits too.

To read more on this and other subjects, please visit the blog at www.ascensor.co.uk/blog.

For more information contact andrew@ascensor.co.uk

Twitter: @andrewjfirth

Connect on LinkedIn: andrewjfirth

Ascensor are a Digital Agency providing website design, ecommerce and search engine optimisation. 

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