When we sit down with a new client and they tell us what they want for their new website we almost always get, “I want my site to be mobile responsive” as one of their top priorities.

But what is mobile responsiveness and why is it so so popular and important?

When a website is mobile responsive, the layout and/or content responds and transforms based on the size of the screen it is viewed on. So if you are viewing a website on a laptop and then view it on a smartphone the screen will automatically adapt to the device you use. Depending on the site, the websites photo order may be rearranged or the pages may even appear different, the main point is that the site has all of the content you need still, just rearranged in a more appropriate manner for that particular device. This practice consists of a mix of flexible grids, layouts, images and the use of CSS media queries.

Why do I need a mobile responsive website?

To put it simply, you are losing business if your website isn’t mobile responsive.

In the last 4 years smart phone users have grown from 1.57 billion to 2.32 billion. (source) Almost everything we do now is on our phones which means that if your site isn’t mobile responsive ie: your wesite takes too long to load or does not conform to the device it’s viewed on, there’s an extremely high chance people will leave your site.

According to this article by Nielsen Norman Group,”Users often leave Web pages in 10–20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer. To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.”

How do I know if my site is responsive?

First let’s look at a few identifying factors of a site that is not mobile responsive:

  1. Your page loads slow on different devices.

  2. Words on your website run off the screen.

  3. The page you are viewing may be shifted to the left or right making the content unreadable.

  4. The content is small and you have to zoom into the page in order to click a link/tab.

One of the easiest ways to check if your site is responsive is to view it on several different browsers; Chrome, Firefox and Safari are a good start. Then drag your web page to the left or right making it decrease in size. If your content is shifting and resizing to fit the new dimensions of your browser then you are most likely in good shape.

Another way to check your site for responsiveness is going to a store like Staples or Wal-Mart and viewing your website on several different devices to see how it reacts to different platforms.

On a final note, check out some of the statistics below to see how not having a mobile responsiveness site could set you at a disadvantage.

Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (source)

“83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important.” (source)

57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (source)

88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. (source)

You could be penalized by Google if your website is not mobile responsive. Google recognizes sites that are generating traffic and mobile responsive and sites that are not. They will be less likely to display your site as a legitimate search result if your website is not mobile responsive and therefore useless to the billions of users. (source)