Responsive design is a term that’s emerged in response to Mobilegeddon, Google’s fateful algorithm change that punishes websites that are not optimized for mobile devices. (Read Top of Mind Marketing’s Blog: Ready to take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test?)
Your website translates seamlessly across all devices
Responsive design means that your website will translate seamlessly to that device on which it’s being viewed. No endless scrolling or manipulation. If you’re a desktop user who blissfully sits in front of your computer all day, you have become the minority. There is a growing population, an estimated 60+%, that accesses nearly everything from their phones. It’s irrevocably changed the way we communicate—which means people are now connected 24/7. (Read Responsive Websites: Designing for the Future)
In some cases, you can do a conversion to make your site more mobile-friendly. But in general, if your site is more than a few years old, it was likely built in a dated technology that’s difficult to manage, and it’s more cost-effective to create a new one. And if you have to wait around for your web person to surface in order to change a typo, it’s time to change the model–you could do this yourself while you’re detailing your instructions, saving yourself time and money.
A website has a shelf life . . .
Even without the issue of responsive design, websites don’t last forever. Style and technology changes leave our old sites looking dated and stale. While a new website can seem like a huge undertaking, think of it instead as a great opportunity to create a site that’s representative of your business as it is today—not the one that’s probably out there today. For many small business owners, a website is your single biggest marketing spend and most important marketing tool, yet if it’s not generating leads, you’re not getting any ROI. A new website is an opportunity to change that–improve navigation, update content, add quality images and showcase your portfolio to improve your online presence and help drive traffic to your site.
Choosing WordPress for your new website
We’re using WordPress for most of our small business clients’ websites these days. It’s robust, easy to use and a vast array of plugins dramatically expands its functionality. WordPress has more than 2,000 themes, or templates, so there are myriad design options. There are other solutions—Wix and SquareSpace, for instance, but these WISYWIG platforms are not always the best solution. While they are easy to use, they can be unstable, so choosing these platforms is often a short-sighted solution.
Today’s website trends are influenced by mobile
- Minimalism is the trend that’s driving all other trends. Footers, sidebars and borders are all disappearing. Even color palettes are being simplified as companies emphasize one dominant color in their visual design. Love this. Think about what it is you want to showcase—content or portfolio—and white space becomes an important design element.
- Menus are taking their lead from apps. Menus are at the top of the screen and are mostly hidden, noted by a single icon, that stack of three little lines with which we’ve become familiar on our mobile devices– called a “hamburger”.
- Forget boring stock images; step up to Unsplash or 500px. The days of the generic stock photo may be over; move over for stunning visuals. With communities like 500px and Unsplash, the old standbys start to look staid and boring. These images are high-res and seriously beautiful.
- Single page design. Apparently nobody wants to click through multiple pages anymore. Scrolling through content on one looooong page is back, and this trend also has its roots in mobile web surfing because it’s infinitely easier to scroll down one long page than to be clicking through pages on your phone.
- Vertical split layouts. With a vertical split layout, designers are able to present twice the content in a clean and simple format. Websites are divided in half widthwise, featuring two separate messages. The split screen is a great way to show relationships between two things.
Read Top of Mind Marketing’s Blogs:
- 5 Key Website Trends From 2015
- The Truth About Algorithms–And Why You Should Expect to See More of Them
Are you thinking about a new responsive design website? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We digital media experts.