Responsive websites: a 3-in-1 solution
By now, you’ve heard the hype surrounding mobile marketing; everyone is jumping on the mobile bandwagon lately. You may think this is just a passing trend, but in a few years, mobile search will surpass desktop search for the first time ever. If your school hasn’t gone mobile, it’s time to reconsider or fall behind.
Having a well-designed website that looks good on a desktop computer used to be enough; however, the costs of tablets and smartphones are dropping, making them available to more users – meaning, more and more people are going to be searching the Web on their mobile devices.
Now, you have to worry about how your website looks and functions on three separate devices, which come in varying sizes and delivery speeds. How can you possibly justify the cost and manpower of managing three websites? You don’t have to.
Meet: Responsive Websites
A responsive website is a single site that reads the size of a device, and then shows the appropriate styles and layout to fit that particular screen width. This one website can use one content management system (CMS) and is developed in one stage – where the previous method for maintaining and developing two or three websites required that each have their own unique development and CMS, then separate search engine optimization campaigns to make each site rank. Utilizing one content management installation for desktop and mobile cuts down on the number of people required to develop and maintain a website.
What’s more impressive is that depending on the device, the user interface and interaction opportunities can change, too. For example, when you scale from a desktop-sized site down to a portable touch device, the buttons can get bigger; the navigation can be simplified; the text can be a bit larger for legibility on smaller screens; the actions that required arrows to move (like slideshows, for instance) can now utilize swipe technology; forms can have mobile-specific keyboards that will slide up for inputting numbers and emails; and there are numerous other benefits.
What About Your Current Website?
Your website is the first thing prospects will search for when making an enrollment decision. It must work well. It must be intuitive. It must be easy to use. It must beautifully connect with the user. It must inform, and it must convert.
If your current website isn’t employing this new, responsive technology, a major challenge I want to address is retrofitting a current desktop-only website. A full redesign or at least a full redevelopment is recommended in order to properly utilize responsive technology. There are rare occasions when retrofitting could be an option, but it’s kind of like a wheat penny ... a very rare find and still not worth very much. As my dad has always told me, "Do it right or don't do it at all.”
See How It Works
Want to see responsive websites in action? Use Firefox or Chrome on your desktop computer and visit one (or all, if you want) of the following: www.asuonline.asu.edu, www.bju.edu or www.nd.edu. After the website loads, just resize your browser window from wide to really narrow (like a mobile browser would be) ... pretty cool, huh?
If you have any questions, our internal development team is in full-swing responsive mode and ready to revamp your website with responsive technology.