If you have attempted to look at a website from your smartphone and instantly become frustrated by a site that loads slowly and requires seemingly endless scrolling, then you probably didn’t stay on that site very long. It’s likely that website that was built for the screen size of a computer and not for the screen and processing power of a smartphone. Even though the number of people accessing the Web from their smartphones and tablets is increasing rapidly, there are still many websites that are stuck in the age of “computer-only” Internet usage. Mobile optimized websites are designed and formatted to easily navigate and read on smartphones and tablet devices.
Standard websites are built to fall within the parameters of approximately 960 pixels wide (viewing area). This seems to be the “happy medium” for the average of the various screen resolutions. With most of the new “hi-def” screens on laptops, desktops and tablets, a decent looking website should stay within the 960 pixels wide range. There was a time, not too long ago, that the standard width would be 800 pixels. This is because the average 15 inch monitor worked best when displayed in an 800 x 600 resolution. There are still a lot of the older folks or those who are visually challenged that have their monitor resolutions set this low, but they are the exception, not the rule. A good rule of thumb to gauge this is to play it “safe” and stay optimized for 1024 x 768. Just about any site will display just fine at this resolution.
If you want to take advantage of the beautiful hi-def monitors and flat screens that are in millions of homes and businesses around the world, then you will want to go to some higher resolution website display options. Obviously, the higher the resolution, the more content and graphics you can display without the user having to scroll left to right.
Mobile devices and their resolution settings are an entirely different ballgame. There are themes available that have what is called “responsive” elements. This element is supposed to recognize a mobile website browser and then try to re-create the site via CSS(Cascading Style Sheets). Although it is a good idea in concept, the fact of the matter is that it really does not work so well with websites that have a lot of rich text, dynamic graphics and/or template shortcodes.
US mobile Internet usage has risen by almost 25 percent, from 77.9 million to 97.3 million users since 2011,” according to a 2011 report by eMarketer. By the year 2015, eMarketer has forecasted that around half of the US population will be accessing the Internet from a mobile or tablet device. (*it is important to note that these were estimates in 2011…they are WAY under the ACTUAL numbers of today!)
For those using mobile devices, 74% of consumers will wait only five seconds for a Web page to load before abandoning the site. In addition, 71% of mobile browsers expect a Web page to load almost as quickly or faster than a Web page on their desktop computer (source: Gomez).
As the numbers for mobile Internet usage continue to explode, it is in your best interest to investigate mobile sites, check out some businesses who use them, and experience some websites who aren’t mobile friendly. If you have questions or want to find out more about how a mobile strategy can boost your business, give us a call at 614-372-7400. We will be happy to talk you through the technology to see if it is a good fit for your business.