The web design world races to catch up with technology, at least that is what it feels like most of the time! As more and more people have smart phones, Kindles and iPads the way your target market views your website has changed and in many ways changed completely. It is most definitely changing the way I approach creating a WordPress website.
The stats I am hearing both in my research as well as hearing the stats from my clients website analytics is that at least 40% up to about 60% of site viewership is now via tablet
or smartphone. Sit with that a moment – that changes everything doesn’t it? Think about it, for years we have relied on the larger size monitors on a desktop or laptop computer, more space to grab a visitors attention but now the screens are about 3 – 9″ across depending on the device. That is a waaaaaaaayyyyy small area to work with, it changes the game in many ways.
For the past couple of years we have heard that your site needs to be mobile friendly, at a minimum your site needs to be viewable on a mobile platform and be able to press some navigation buttons and scroll back and forth or up and down to get where you need to go. And this works most of the time, which is great. I would prefer that a website works like this then not be seen on a mobile device at all.
This first picture is a screenshot of my website and how it would look if it was only Mobile Friendly.
The next generation of websites are moving towards mobile responsive. Where Mobile Friendly works on your phone or tablet you usually need to increase the screen and then slide it back and forth to be able to read it and have the menu buttons actually work. A Mobile Responsive site actually adjusts to the size of the screen you are using and has the text flow, slideshows and headers resize to flow down the screen so you are seeing the site in a way that you just need to scroll up and down with. You don’t need the increase the screen size to see the teensy weensy menu bar or scroll forever left and right to read the text.
The second picture is a screenshot of my website using a customized Mobile Responsive theme.
To be honest my site still has a ways to go… I want to make it work even better, but it sure has come a long way in the last year. It has been a playground for me to learn and try new things. A couple more issues that I will be working on are 1) fewer navigation options and 2) better location for the social media buttons
It can be a confusing issue and can make your head swim, so hopefully this gives you a better understanding of the difference between these two terms. Questions? Leave a comment below.