Google+ Futuristic Discussions: A Look at Responsive-Sites - WebVoice
Photo by Andy Bennett

Photo by Andy Bennett

“There is nothing more irritating,” says Cape Town situated online marketing strategist and Managing Director of Online Marketing Guys, Craig Hoggins, “than having to go onto a website from a mobile device and struggling to view the content”

PC’s, MAC computers, designing software and the Internet has changed our lives forever. We can order food, merchandise and even people (dating sites) from online. We can create diaries for the world to read (blogs) and we can stalk pretty much anyone (Facebook & LinkedIn). We can communicate, both audibly and visually with people at the opposite ends of the earth (Skype). We can visually observe just about anything (YouTube). It is safe to say that the internet has made living, learning and communicating much more efficient and fun.

The Internet, as Hoggins states, is “a platform that levels the playing field for all and offers equal opportunity.”

Having started with web1.0 websites in the early-mid 1980’s, the internet was compiled only of simplistic and static websites and –pages for mostly the government and really big (wealthy) businesses. It was a lot like viewing a PDF file as a website.

By 2004, we embraced web2.0 websites, which provided more depth and interaction, like Facebook and Twitter with options to comment or chat. With web2.0 and smarter cellular phones came the answer to low-battery, portable, internet-viewing in the form of ‘mobi-sites’ (mobile websites).

“A “mobi-site” is a stand-alone website that users are redirected to when a request is made for that particular website on a hand-held device,” says Head of New Media Development at CityVarsity: School of Media & Creative Arts, Cape Town, Jacques Roux, “Developers used languages like JavaScript or PHP (Hypertext Pre-Processor) to determine the screen size of the device requesting the website in order to redirect them to a custom-designed mobile website version of the wide-screen version of the parent website.”

Now, sort of, we are coming to terms with web3.0 websites, also known as the characteristic category of ‘Responsive Websites’. But what exactly does the term “responsive website” actually mean?

According to Roux, the term refers to “a fluid page layout that responds automatically to all screen sizes – from wide-screen cinema to the smallest mobile device. This has been made possible by a new web technology called “MediaQueries.”

“Generally it seems that the preference today is leaning towards responsive,” reveals Hoggins when explaining the less design time wasted when choosing a responsive website above adding a mobi-site, “The advantage of this is that you only have to build and pay for one website whereas a mobi-site is a totally separate website on a new domain (typically www.m.yourwebsite.com).”

However, as Hoggins continues, there are numerous instances where mobile sites would be the best choice for a business. When users visit a website from a mobile device, chances are that they do not wish to spend copious amounts of time scrolling through the webpages. This is where mobile sites can be a more simplistic layout answer, especially when there is a device-accessible service that the business can provide, almost like an application, but without the annoying need to download and take up space.

Online marketing has introduced new platforms of advertising and educating potential customers / clients about products from all over the Globe. Companies and business owners have to employ innovative web and graphic designers, as well as top-notch marketers and strategists, to ensure that they get tons of publicity which in turn increases sales and profits.

So why should online marketers and website owners be aware of responsive and mobile website designing when everything has been going great with web2.0 websites?

“A bad user experience,” says Hoggins “means that the user typically won’t come back to that site. Something a little more complicated is called a bounce rate. Should your website have Google Analytics installed then Google will pick up that users are having a bad experience on your site from mobile devices by seeing a high bounce rate. If this is the case then your organic rankings from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts will be affected. And…if 32% (and rapidly climbing) access the internet via mobile devices in South Africa, then every website owner should have a website that is responsive or mobi.”

Web and graphic designing can be very intricate, challenging and speedily advancing in terms of technology. New devices like iPads and Galaxy tablets, as well as the wide variety of smartphone screen sizes, means that webpages today need to be clever enough to mould and fit the screen size and browser of whichever device.

Keeping up with the times and public demands are of top concern for business owners everywhere. Online marketers, like Hoggins and the Online Marketing Guys, certainly know that their designs will continue to remain as responsive, sharp and innovative as possible to keep them ahead of the game.

Don’t let your lack of online tricks be the downfall of your online image, contact Online Marketing Guys in Cape Town to ensure your site sticks to the ever-changing demands of the Internet.

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7 Responses to Futuristic Discussions: A Look at Responsive-Sites

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      Andy

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