Can Your Website Be Viewed on All Mobile Devices?
I recently wrote about why having a responsive website is important in our “What is a Responsive Website?” blog. While it is a good idea to have a mobile-friendly website, it is also imperative to consider what kind of performance issues your audience may encounter when they view your website. A responsive website is intended to reach a wider audience; you don’t want a smaller audience because your website has performance issues.
Speed is paramount! Slow connection speeds cause frustration. Keep in mind that mobile devices are generally slower than desktop or laptop computers, since mobile devices can connect to either Wi-Fi or cellular service. Cell towers might not be nearby and this will cause slow connection speeds. People who use dial up or high speed internet services can also experience slow connection speeds. Even the fastest Wi-Fi service can experience slowdowns at times. People with low-end devices may want to visit your website, but if your site is not built with them in mind, they may have a bad end-user experience. Not many people are willing to wait for too long for a website to load on their phone. You want to avoid timeouts and crashes because none of these scenarios provides for a good user experience.
New technology is constantly being developed, and new generations of smartphones and digital devices become available every day. It is important to note that many people do not have the latest generation of smartphones. It is still possible to buy brand new older generation phones even when newer technology is available. Many people do not trade in their older phones very often either.
You should make sure that your website works for everyone.
Since you want to be able to reach everyone in your target audience, you should make sure that your website works for everyone. If you decide to add a lot of cutting-edge technology to your website, your website could become useless on anything besides the latest generation of smartphones. You want to make sure that people with older phones will still be able to view your website. Your website developer can add code and other workarounds to allow for a graceful degradation on older devices. Be careful about allowing your code to become too complex and weighty though, because sending more data to older devices may also slow down your site. You can also consider providing only the information and not all of the cutting-edge features to devices below a certain threshold of capabilities and performance. Realize that code and testing for many different scenarios will make building your website more complicated. You should evaluate the value of high performance core features over the new cutting-edge features.
Should you have add cutting-edge features to your website? Unless your business is related to technology, perhaps the answer is no or not yet. Someone who owns a newer phone will not miss seeing all of the latest features if you decide not to use them. People who have high-end or low-end devices will happy that they are able to view your website.
If you are looking for more details about performance with regard to mobile devices, stop by the Toptal website and read their blog “Responsive Design Is Not Enough, We Need Responsive Performance.”
Lange Art & Design can work with you to design websites that perform well on all devices!
Author: Annette M. Lange, website and graphic designer at Lange Art & Design