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Can Your Website Be Viewed on All Mobile Devices?

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I recently wrote about why having a responsive website is important in my “What is a Responsive Website?”  post. 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.

Performance

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 Versus Old Technology

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.

To reach everyone in your target audience, your website needs to work for everyone. Using a lot of cutting-edge technology cause your website to become useless on older smartphones. Make sure that people with older phones are able to view your website, particularly if they are your target audience. 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. Sending more data to older devices may also slow down your site. 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. Evaluate the value of high-performance core features over the new cutting-edge features.

Cutting-Edge Features

Should you add cutting-edge features to your website? Unless your business is related to technology, perhaps the answer is no or not yet. Someone with a newer phone will not miss seeing all of the latest features if you don’t 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.”

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