Not everyone can be into things before they hit the mainstream. I forgive those who still think that liking the movies Choke and Fight Club make them so original, even though they never read the books that proceeded them. On the other hand, if your website isn’t responsive, SHAME. Responsive sites are those sites that shrink down to cell phone size and re-stacks content for the viewing pleasure of would-be consumers. Not having a responsive website is like not having an iPhone. And you, my delicate kitten, should not be caught dead without a responsive website.
Did you know that cellphone Internet usage is quickly eclipsing desktop browsing? Why wouldn’t it? These days you don’t carry around a phone; you have a tiny computer in your pocket. Additionally, tablets are becoming more popular. Once viewed as something that only “business types” had, they are becoming a necessity in the same way that cellphones did during the early part of the century. The amount of money that people spend shopping via mobile devices rises every year.
Some 1920′s Take On All Comers type shaking his fist in the air right now screaming, “Balderdash!” And that old-timey man is wrong, and also maybe Irish. If your site isn’t responsive, you’re forcing people to look at tiny print or to expand the page and lose the view of the content in the process.
You know what happens when users have to work for something? Nothing, because no user is going to work for information.
When someone has difficulty finding the product or service that they want, it is very likely that they will look elsewhere for it. These are the same people that complain and stress when an application takes more than two minutes to install. You are appealing to a user base that thinks they’re holding a magic box in their hand. The average user is completely unaware of the time and energy spent on the code and content they are viewing.
Even though these users are impatient and finicky, their pockets are busting with ca$h money. If you want any of that for your business you should make your site fast and easy, no matter what device a user is using. This is a global age my friend. Users no longer need to fulfill their materialistic needs from a local source, so remaining competitive globally is more important than ever.
I’ve noticed that some companies have been making separate mobile sites as a compliment to their full site. When you do that, users get suddenly redirected and it’s annoying, especially if your mobile site doesn’t have all of the features of your full site. Imagine you’re going through a site, maybe even one that you’ve used before, and you’re suddenly missing something that you needed. Maybe it’s the calendar. How the hell do you plan your schedule for events? Think about all of the ways that has limited you, as a user, on even very major websites. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that with a link to “View Full Site.” Every time that happens to me, it seems as though the one feature that I actually need is only available on the full site. When I go to view it, I can barely even read the writing, and I have to zoom in to get the link big enough for my stupid fat thumb to hit that link rather than the ads that are always right by it.
Solving a mobile viewing problem by creating a limited site with a link to an unresponsive site is as stupid as creating a limited site with a link to an unresponsive site. I use that analogy because I cannot think of anything more ridiculous to do with a mobile storefront. This may be a #firstworldproblem but it is still a problem and fixing it may be the difference between doubling your profits and a floundering company.
This is of course coupled with the fact that if you do that, you’re dealing with two URLs, two SEOs, two management systems. Now any change that you make to your site content has to be changed twice. If you forget to change it both times, then you’ve shot yourself in your figurative foot. Which one is correct? HMM?! It makes it harder for Google to include you in their search engine as well, because instead of dealing with one set of linkage and tags, they’re dealing with two. Since Google organizes its search results by site views, you are dividing your viewers into separate groups and effectively moving your page down in the search results. You just don’t mess with Google, bro.
So basically, if you don’t already have a responsive site, you need to fix that immediately, or invest in having someone do it for you. Hipster Creative specializes in doing the web right, because we’re a bunch of innovators like that.