So imagine this for a minute; you click on a Twitter link or a Facebook post on your mobile device and what shows up makes you sigh. A full desktop formatted page comes up. You want to read the content and even pinch the screen to enlarge the page. But then it enlarges on a part of the page not even close to the article and rather than reposition it, you simply go back to your feed and move on.The opportunity for the author to share their content is lost simply because they did not optimize it for a smaller screen. It is far from epidemic, but there is no excuse for not having a site that scales itself to a mobile device. Just as our culture needed to replace our cassette tapes with CDs and then update again to iTunes or Spotify we need to update our web spaces.
With responsive design, the site is able to adjust itself to the device it is being read on by calling out to a different style sheet which in turn draws the site accordingly. The elements get rearranged, content moves and becomes readable on a mobile device. All of this is done without redirecting to a new directory, being heavy on scripting to redraw the site and it allows the site load super fast on the device. A responsive site also ensures that all of the hard work done to optimize the site wont be wasted if a search engine sees too many redirects or extra code to make a site mobile friendly.
So why is this important for engagement? Think of the story from above. Not only did the author miss out on the read, the person who posted the link might have a few frustrated followers. We can’t always post out content we know is mobile ready, that would be insane to check all of the time, but we should at least be aware of it.
In the social and mobile world, it’s detrimental to a business to not have a site that is responsive to mobile. Here are a couple of ways to keep this in mind when content is created, shared or websites built.
- Create a mobile friendly site that works. It’s no longer enough to just have a website and then a separate one on a different directory. The site needs to have fresh content and one way to make that happen is to have it pull content from the main site. WordPress has many themes that will be responsive enough to mobile, but the absolute best way is to create a responsive site from scratch.
- Make sure the site is using a content management system. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and others make it easy to add content and they also work well with responsive designed sites.
- Keep in mind that content is likely going to be shared and also viewed on mobile devices, so find ways to get your message across quickly. (I’m sure this post doesn’t adhere to that, but you know how it is)
What are some stories you have about content on mobile devices? What other opinions or ideas you have about mobile ready sites?