Does your website look good on different devices?

on Thu 21 Aug

With more and more potential customers visiting your website on smartphones and tablets you run the risk of losing out. Find out how to quickly assess your website and what to do about it if it's putting off leads.

Why is this important?

More and more people are using phones and tablets to research and browse the internet. If your website doesn’t work or isn’t easy to use then you are missing out on potential business… a lot of potential business. Latest figures show that over 50% of the UK adult population own a smartphone and that for the first time mobile devices overtook laptops and desktops for visiting websites!

How to test

So the best way to do this is to use a smartphone (like an iPhone or such) and visit your website. Do the same on a tablet (like an iPad).

If you don’t happen to have a smartphone or a tablet to hand you can visit this great website on your computer http://resizemybrowser.com/ it allows you to open a web browser in different sizes to mimic various different screen sizes. You can then type in your website address and see roughly what it looks like. Be warned though, this is not exactly what you’ll see on a mobile device, it’s just a very rough guide.

What to look for and how to score

Score 0 - If your website uses certain technologies (notably adobe Flash) it simply won’t work on an iphone. Just a screen asking you install a plugin, sadly it’s not possible to install it!

 

Score 1 - Your website works, but it looks tiny. This is super frustrating for any potential customer, they have to pinch and zoom to see your text and filling in forms is a nightmare.

 

Score 2 - You have a mobile version of your site, but it doesn’t have much information on it. This is also frustrating as a potential customer has chosen to look at your website to find out more about you.

 

Score 3 - You have a mobile version of your site, it has most of your content, but it’s not in sync with your main website. You run the risk of promoting old offers or having an out of date phone number.

 

Score 4 - Your website sort of changes to suit the screen size, but it’s difficult to use or doesn’t look great. Not the worst experience for a potential customer, but it still may make them question how professional you are.

 

Score 5 - Your website changes to suit the screen size, looks great and it’s really easy to use. Good job, you have every chance of attracting potential customers.

 

What to do if you didn’t score 5?

Don’t panic there are lots of options for you. All can solve your problem and get your score up to a 5.

Option 1

If you’re using a system like Wordpress you can look for a theme that is “responsive” that means it will adapt to the screen size. There are some basic free themes http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/30-free-responsive-and-stunning-wordpress-themes/ or you can pay for the more premium ones - prices vary check out http://themeforest.net/collections/3226617-responsive-wordpress-themes some of the nice ones are just $58.

You’ll need to check the new theme it supports all of the features/plugins/customisations your site has and you’ll need to know how to update your website to use it. If you had an agency build your site you can always pay them to update it for you. Costs will vary greatly depending on who built it in the first place. Or if you know someone who is good with Wordpress you could ask them to do it as a favour, just be sure to check all your pages and features once it’s done. The end result is often great.

Option 2

If you don’t mind spending some money, but time is short and you want it to be very simple you can use services like http://www.bmobilized.com/ they convert your website to a mobile version for you and host it. It costs $15/month in addition to whatever you’re paying for your main site. The end result will be a mobile website that mostly looks like your main site, but you will probably lose some of the branding and styling. That said it is very easy and quick to do. It will also be very fast for people using their mobile connection to browse your site.

Option 3

Pay an agency or freelancer to create you a new responsive site (probably using Wordpress). Expect to pay anything from £500 to £5000 to get your website built. You’ll get exactly what you want and there’s very little effort required from you. Be sure to factor in the ongoing cost of hosting and updating all your plugins as well as the cost of training to help you manage your site. If you have the budget, are comfortable using the Wordpress admin area and are happy with the ongoing costs then this can be a great option.

Option 4

Switch your website yourself to a platform that gives you a responsive website by default. You can try many of the DIY site builders like Square Space or Yola, just check that they offer responsive themes before you spend a lot of time moving your site across and trying to make it look nice. Prices start from as little as $8/month. This is DIY though so you’ll have to work your way through learning to build web pages and configuring everything including what widgets to use, SEO, your domain name and  DNS settings. If you’re pretty web savvy and have an eye for design this can get good results.

Option 5

If none of the options sound that attractive, then maybe Smart Little Web can help. We have plans from as little as £10/month and you can pay for as much or as little help as you want. We can do it all or you can do as much as you like knowing that real people are on hand should you need it. Our platform has been created specifically for smaller, local and independent businesses to make it super simple to get a professional, effective and RESPONSIVE website. So, just give us a call 01962 600044, book a free consultation or start your free trial.

 

Some other useful reading:

http://www.themediabriefing.com/article/key-things-about-uk-media-consumers-you-need-to-know

http://www.pjweb.co.uk/mobile-websites/uk-mobile-browsing-statistics/

http://connect.icrossing.co.uk/quick-smartphone-statistics-support-mobile-campaigns-2013_9885

 

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