For the past few years, we’ve implemented a separate mobile website for clients as it was the best solution to reach mobile and tablet users, but now we’re seeing a major shift to Responsive Website Design (RWD). RWD allows you to have one website, with no mobile redirects, where the site is constructed so that all of the content and images rearranges and resizes itself dependent on the device the online visitor is using to view your site.
In 2013, 30 percent of Travel Weekly’s Consumer Trends Survey participants reported using a smartphone or tablet for purchasing travel online. Among ages 35 to 54, purchases of travel on a mobile device grew to 33 percent from 23 percent. Another study by Hudson Crossing theorizes that by the end of 2018, 89 percent of U.S. travelers will own a tablet and 91 percent will own a smartphone.
Hudson Crossing went on to find that “40 percent of tablet owners are interested in booking a hotel on their tablets, as are 3 in 10 smartphone owners.” As Norm Rose, PhoCusWright, notes, “you have to figure out how to be relevant in this new age of mobile.”
Most websites adopted a mobile version of their site or a pared down version of the desktop site that offers the most important pages and functions, like a booking engine, of the website. With mobile search up 19 percent in 2013, having a mobile presence is necessary and as we noted above, an RWD is the most effective solution.
RWD is favored among consumers and search engines as it provides a better user experience, and users can access all pages of your site and the search engines only index one version of your website. RWD is a better solution for business owners as you’ll spend less time and money managing multiple websites, it can increase conversion rates, and your website will look consistent across all devices.
So what can you do for your website?
If you’re ready to move into the responsive era of website design, we recommend:
- Create a custom design with responsive elements: Your website is an extension of your business and if you want a custom design to capture your visitors’ attention and highlight your unique offerings, you can still use a [custom design] but have it built to be responsive.
- Use a turn-key Content Management System (TCMS): We’ve been watching the trend on responsive design for a while, which is why we made it a main component for our TCMS website offering. The TCMS is simple, user-friendly, and conversion focused.
- A responsive upgrade: If your budget isn’t ready for a new site or you’re happy with what you have, you can keep what you currently have but have your website developers add responsive code to it.
Are you making the switch to responsive design for 2015? Tell us why or why not in the comments below: