This year mobile devices eclipsed desktop computers as the primary method of internet access for users globally. Adults spend roughly 3 hours per day on a mobile device in the United States.

Time spent on screens by orientation (hours/day), USA

MobileWebsites-Graphs.jpg

How does this impact you? First, mobile devices generally have vertical screens that don’t perform well with traditional websites. In addition, some sites that were built for mobile a few years ago may no longer fit the standards. Google has responded by now giving preference to sites that are mobile friendly in their search results. So what does this mean for your business? Well, if it’s not mobile-friendly, your site may not be getting seen.

At this point, you should be asking yourself:
Is my website mobile friendly? 

Google has this handy testing tool if you aren’t sure:

If the answer is no, there are two approaches to make yours a mobile-friendly web experience:

1) Build two separate sites - one for desktop and one for mobile. This approach optimizes the user experience as you can tailor your message and graphics to each audience’s needs, screen size, etc. It is also the most costly to administer. For businesses who are internet-based, like big online retailers, it makes sense to invest in the extra effort to always give the best experience to customers. For many other industries, the added cost may not be justified.

2) Build a single responsive website that resizes based on the user’s screen. With only one site to build and maintain, this approach lowers your overall cost. While you may not get a perfect display on all devices, a good responsive design makes sure all the important information is accessible to all users. For most businesses, this is a perfectly sufficient solution for their needs. 

The good news? Advancements in web design platforms in just the last year or two have made it more cost effective to get a new website with robust features like online shopping carts, socially-connected blogs, built-in SEO optimization, an easy-to-update CMS structure, and responsive (mobile-friendly) design. You may give up some customization using a template service like SquareSpace or Wix, but for the majority of businesses it can meet all the demands their industry and customers require at a fraction of the cost of a custom website. In addition, if you hire a web expert like IBA to put your site together for you, we have developer capabilities to make the templates more customized if needed. 

As you are looking toward 2016, now may be the time to invest in that website upgrade you’ve been putting off. Contact us for a quote. The cost may pleasantly surprise you.

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