Size does matter in website design

We have posted before about the importance of ensuring that your website is responsive and viewable on mobile devices. It is vital for search results, for user experience and most importantly to boost your website sales. We talked about the what, how and why of responsive websites, we went into more detail on how to make sure your website is responsive and we asked whether you are being found on mobile.

So a responsive site is important, nay vital and at this point NO website should be built which is not responsive.

A funny thing that occurred to me, though, when we discussed building a new website for a number of clients who had an old site built when mobile internet usage was a fantasy and only something we imagined for the future. (Ahem..all of about 10 years ago!). When we looked at their site there was an assumption that they wouldn’t perform well on mobile. Actually, in a number of cases,  things were not as bad as we expected and the site resized reasonably well (considering the developer would never have expected a person to view it on a 5 inch screen!).

This made me think about why this would be the case, and to think back to when I was developing websites back then. Using pure HTML and CSS, no WordPress, no themes, purely hand coded sites. Good practice, as I was taught, was to build a site to resize to the screen. This was to allow the site to show correctly at different resolutions, mainly, as the screens themselves would have been of similar sizes. However, once good practice was used, then a site will resize to any screen. Including a 5 inch mobile phone screen.

There were only a couple of real problems that would need to be resolved with the older sites. One is a slight dating in style, like everything else web design has trends which are continually changing and a site built 10 years ago tends to look 10 years old – even to the untrained eye, as we grow accustomed to new designs often without even realising.

The second is that in resizing all of the elements there can be an issue with clickable items – links and buttons – becoming too small to click with a finger on a touchscreen phone. This is forgivable as the developer would not have ever seen a website on a phone to be aware of this.

And the third is the only real reason we would recommend moving away from a site developed in pure code. It is trickier to update. With a WordPress site, anybody who can use software like MS Word can log in and update the information on their website. With a site in HTML or PHP, updating the site demands a certain level of understanding of the code in order not to cause issues when updating so it may cost you more to pay a developer to make even simple updates.

So the main thing in all of this is to make sure that your site is being developed with good practices, as that ensures that it will be robust and relatively future proof.

So is your site older than say 5 years? How is it viewed on mobile? If you’re getting a little worried about it now, then why not contact us to see whether we can help.

Web Design

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