Over the past year the number of visitors to most websites had undergone a major shift. Just a few short years ago, web traffic was still dominated by the desktop, with smartphones and tablets only attracting a small amount of the traffic. 2013 brought about a major change in the numbers. Some of our clients website take more traffic on smartphones and tablets than they do on traditional desktop computers. One obvious example is a Restaurant located in the French Quarter. But it’s not just the obviously height foot traffic tourism sites. Most of our websites now have at least 1/3 of the traffic coming from mobile.
So what does all this mean for web design? In the early days most people built “Mobile” Sites. They were an entirely different version of a website for accessible for a smartphone and a computer. The website is the smart enough to tell what type of device is requesting the pages, and provide the correct HTML files. In recent years the concept of responsive design has become the technology of choice for web design. This means that the html pages respond to the device, the website can determine the size of the screen and display information based on that. This type of web design is critical for large websites, where maintaining two different versions of your website becomes cumbersome quickly . A website with more that about one page requires a responsive design as well as websites that are updated frequently.
Responsive design has it’s disadvantages as well. Most of the time when technology tried to do two things at once it rarely does both well. For small websites that are not updated frequently, we believe the old school approach of a desktop and mobile websites are a must. These days the mobile website should have a design that resembles an actual app that is downloaded in the app store, without actually being an app in the app stores. For one building and app it’s expensive. Users just wanting to visit your website also don’t want to download and install the app just for a quick visit. The web design effort that must be put into making a mobile version of an existing e-brochure website is minimal. We charge $375 for up to 10 pages.