With more and more people accessing the internet via their cell phones and tablets, it’s clear that mobile is the future.
On Private Property we've seen an increase of 140% for mobile users and 30% for tablet users so far this year, compared to the same period last year. A phenomenal increase.
The challenge for sites like Private Property, and indeed your own property website, is recognising the increasing importance of these mobile users, and designing a website that caters for them.
Over the past year, we've designed a responsive website that allows our browsers to have a great user experience regardless of whether they are accessing our site on a smart phone, tablet or desktop.
So what is responsive web design?
Responsive design simply means that your audience will have the same experience of your site regardless of what device they access it on. The look and feel of your site will stay consistent across all devices (desktops, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices) and function as if they were custom built for each but with one URL structure.
_ Why did we do it and should you consider it for your own website?_
1. User Experience.
Visitors can get the full benefit of the website and not a stripped down mobile-only version. The flexibility of responsive design ensures that a website looks good on all screen sizes and resolutions and functionality is the same.
2. It makes Google happy.
In fact responsive design is Google’s recommended site configuration and they even suggest that it should be industry best practice. Google loves responsive design because it’s easier to index and crawl these sites to retrieve content since all of a website’s pages have the same URL and HTML. These sites are also regarded as being more user-friendly so they are rated better by the search engine.
3. Cost effective.
You don’t need to design a separate website to cater for mobile users. One website caters for all your visitors. Since you have only one website with one URL, you don’t need to run separate marketing campaigns either.
4. Increased shareability.
Because your site content has one website and URL, content is easier to share, link and interact with. Take for example a mobile user who shares content from a mobile site with a friend who then accesses that content using a desktop. The second user views a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. Not a great user experience. With responsive design, both users would see exactly the same page.
We've seen huge increases in our site stats over the past year, and it’s in no small part thanks to the new site design. More visitors, more pages viewed and longer times on site benefit you since it means more potential customers viewing more of your listings.
If you are planning on designing or updating your agency’s website, you should consider a responsive design too.