Adapting websites for mobile devices: why is it so important?

It is almost impossible to imagine our today’s life without a global network. The appearance of the era of mobile devices made possible to access the Internet anytime and anywhere. For example, only in America, about 77% of the adult population uses smartphones daily not only for its basic purpose, but also as a means of comfortable access to the network.

Differences between the adaptive version and a desktop

The traditional size of the website in our understanding (desktop) is when the entire web structure (blocks, text parts, animation, sliders, other content) is beautifully displayed on PC displays, and the mobile version is customized for mini laptops, smartphones and tablets with different screen resolution.

Website adaptation for mobile devices is the process of creating a version of a website intended solely to display it on mobile devices, regardless of the size of their displays, and other characteristics. Each mobile version has its own unique design, and, as a rule, is characterized by the presence of its own individual URL-address.

What do users need?

As a rule, the global network users, who use mobile devices do not know how the adapted website should look like. But instead, they mercilessly criticize resources if they don’t like them.

Based on the observations , the structural simplicity of the website is extremely important for Internet audience. Users use an adaptive version to quickly and conveniently read the latest news, view some products, find the necessary information, and just to talk and send someone an e-mail.

The main goal of the websites is to facilitate the solution of everyday user tasks as much as possible. The client in no way should waste his valuable time waiting for the download of all the pictures or horizontally scrolling the desktop menu on his smartphone screen.

According to statistics of the LiveInternet portal, visits to Russian-language sites from mobile devices have increased , and the need to develop an adaptive version is caused not only by the desire to create something miniature and beautiful, but also according to the latest web development trends:

  1. If the website does not have a mobile version, it is difficult to interact with it via a tablet or smartphone, and most likely the user will not be able to fully find the information he needs, or spend considerable time searching for it;
  2. Many sites with a mobile version receive certain bonuses when creating a promotion campaign in search engines (usually in the mobile version of the search results);
  3. It is logical to assume that if we create a mobile version of the website, it means that we want to implement a comfortable and easy-to-use and comfortable product, which has a positive effect on behavioral factors in general.

How to adapt a website for mobile devices? There are several ways how to do this. Let's dive deeper into each of them.

Responsive design

The basis of this web design is versatility and flexibility. With it, developers can optimize the site for playback on many mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, PCs). To put it simple, each web page with this design analyzes the parameters of the screen independently and adapts the required size.(As a rule, a simple viewport < meta > is used, giving browsers a signal that a web resource can be adapted).

Separate version for mobile screen resolutions

There are still companies and small firms that prefer to create mobile versions in parallel with the desktop version.

There are several criteria for this:

  1. The development does not take a lot of resources and time;
  2. Such versions are a good example for UX design and easy to navigate;
  3. The download speed of the site is very fast, because these pages contain highly optimized content (compressed photos and animation);
  4. They have a content that does not quite correspond to the desktop version.

But there are, of course, some disadvantages:

  1. Requires additional time and budget for SEO optimization;
  2. Installing plug-ins to redirect clients;
  3. Continuous resource maintenance.

Adaptive or responsive design - the choice is yours Just imagine that you have a choice, which type of site you will trust to: adaptive or responsive. What would you choose?

First of all, decide for what purpose you are designing a website. In some cases, it will be enough for you to make a responsive design, and in others you cannot do without a well-developed mobile version. But don’t forget that the adaptation of web content makes your website more appealing to customers who are happy to stay on the site and move from page to page. Moreover, the search engine robots will be more favorable to you.