Interface CMS, an established web development business, has expanded to offer websites that adapt themselves automatically to the smaller screens of tablets and smart phones. This might not seem a big deal to you, perhaps sitting in front of a nice big desktop screen, but a news item on Sky News in August (2015) reminds us how relevant this is.
A major tipping point has been reached in the evolution of the internet. For the first time, says Ofcom, more time is spent accessing websites through mobile phones than through laptops or desktop computers!
According to the Sky News item, which you can read in full here, a third of people say that smartphones are their most important device for accessing the internet, spending nearly two hours per day using a phone for the internet as opposed to just over an hour on laptops.
Two thirds of the UK now own a smartphone, rising to 90% for 19-24 year olds, as well as half of 55-64 year olds.
So what has caused this change in our habits? Firstly the popularity of large screen phones, which makes it visually easier to look at websites. Secondly, the arrival of the 4G network, which is fast enough to load most websites easily. In fact the change in viewing habits has become so great that the mighty Google will, if you search for something on a phone or tablet, send you firstly to websites that are adapted for phone screens before more traditionally designed sites.
And this is where it affects you. Viewing a traditional (fixed width) website on a smartphone can be a painful experience! Either the site is too small to see the text or it overflows the screen so much you spend all your time scrolling around to read more! Try viewing your own website on a smartphone and see how you find it.
Unfortunately a visitor to your site will leave again in seconds if viewing it is uncomfortable or downright impossible on their smartphone. So there goes your next potential church member, charity client, school parent etc. Not good for growth at all!
It is to help our clients keep their sites relevant to the world outside that we have launched our responsive layout option. From now on, our new sites will be designed to adapt to all screen sizes; but that may not help you, an existing client.
We can certainly convert your fixed-width website to a responsive layout, but it does require a lot of work and changes to graphics, backgrounds and menu layouts. For this reason we cannot offer an upgrade for free, but if you think your organisation would benefit from changing to a responsive layout then do contact me by replying to this email and we will see how we can best meet your needs.