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For Accessibility reasons, all websites must have a mobile version. Also required is a responsive layout – when changing the size of the browser, it scales to fit the screen for website viewing on your phone or tablet.
Recently I purchased a WordPress theme. I was very happy with the look, having all the features I needed for the website I developed. It didn’t take long to realize the layout of the theme was missing a critical feature- responsive design. When I purchased the theme, I wasn’t looking for responsive design because I thought every website should be responsive, especially for a recently released theme.
Since 2008, mobile browsing has been on the rise. According to smartinsights.com, 2014 was a year of change in the web industry. It was the first time in the history of the web that more users browsed websites on mobile devices than desktops. It was a game-changer for website owners and website development companies.
Why To Have A Website At All?
Companies have the online presence to display information, process requests for money transfers, address changes and for making sales. In the past several years, there’s been a trend to create free content. Most blogs are created to generate traffic by giving free content in hopes that readers will browse other pages on the website and purchase a product or service.
Stats On Internet Usage
The number of blogs increases daily. According to WordPress, there are 64.3 million new posts published and 409 million people reading blogs every month. The statistics reflect the WordPress platform alone. With a high volume of readers, it’s crucial to enhance web browsing accessibility on all platforms with an emphasis on mobile browsing.
Mobile First Method
In 2009, designer Luke Wroblewski wrote an article coining the phrase mobile first. He noticed statistics showed the rising number of mobile users and that this audience couldn’t be ignored. He stated that “since the number of mobile users is growing extremely fast, it’s necessary to design a mobile website to fit mobile screens before designing it to fit larger screens.
While the concept has been accepted by many in the web design world, it also created controversy. Many designers, as well as users, agreed that even though the number of mobile users is on the rise, there are features that are simply frustrating to use on a mobile device. Most times it’s simpler to fill out a long form or read from a desktop screen than on a small mobile screen.
In the article “Mobile first: why are we getting it wrong?”, James Archer described how the quality of the user experience on the desktop version had declined: “In a graceful degradation approach, you might design a beautiful desktop site, and then chop it, squeeze it, strip it, or do whatever else you had to do to create an acceptable version for mobile devices.”
Sell A Quality Product And Make People Happy
Although James is a fan of the mobile-first concept, he says it’s not implemented properly causing frustration to users. Whether you agree with the concept or not, mobile audiences can’t be ignored. To conclude, websites must be compatible with mobile devices. A design that lacks mobile viewing will lose users.
Finally, even though I liked the functionality of the WordPress theme I purchased, I didn’t feel I got my money’s worth. I learned an important lesson. The next time I purchase another theme I won’t assume it’s responsive. Fortunately, I tweaked the layout myself using media queries and adapting the mobile website.
The article was written by Erez Elias, Internet specialist and the founder of All The Way Up Media.
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