smartphone versus desktop usage chart

The Value Of A Mobile Friendly Website

Since the iPhone hit the market back in 2007 (yeah that long ago), Smartphones have steadily grown in usage every year since – and that trend continues even today. According to StatCounter, a company that collects a lot of data each day on who is using the internet, on what device, etc – we can clearly see the rise of the SmartPhone, the fall of the Desktop/Laptop and the mediocre blip that is tablet usage.

smartphone versus desktop usage chart

There are currently more smartphones connected to the internet than laptops and desktops. Let that sink in for a minute. What’s even more surprising is the usage is still rising. Whether or not smartphones can fully load and use your website is referred to as mobile friendly and responsive. Mobile friendly means the site looks good on a mobile device, and responsive means the site will actively respond to your specific device regardless of size.

How This Impacts Your Business On The Web

Okay so we have established there are lots of Smartphones being used on the internet – it doesn’t necessarily mean they are all researching & buying goods & services right? ¬†Well yes and no. The amount of smartphone usage for any given site varies greatly. We have clients who see 10% of all their traffic as mobile users, while other sites are up to as much as 30% of their traffic being mobile and you can visit their website to know more about the strategy used. It all depends on who you are, what you do, and who your audience is.

The researchers did an awesome job since a lot of conclusions was drawn easily after an initial research taking place on a smartphone – especially when it comes to local service companies such as roofers, plumbers, contractors, lawyers, etc.

People using smartphones generally spend less time per visit and look at fewer pages compared to people on desktops/laptops. This makes sense – people on a smaller device who may not be at home have limitations. Their screen fits less information, their internet speed is not as fast and they do not have a mouse. Also people on smartphones tend to have different goals. They typically are looking for something fast – a phone number, address and business hours are very common things a smartphone user would be looking for.

How To Make Your Non-Responsive Site Responsive

Not sure if your website is responsive? Google made a handy tool that will tell you. Plug your site into the checker and a full analysis will be done & presented to you. Your site should be programmed in a way that a smartphone (or any device with a small screen) can

  • fully load under 2-3 seconds
  • quickly find your business information such as phone/address/hours
  • interact with and effectively use your website

On any device your website should should simply load fast and function correctly. If your website is not already responsive, or automatically adjusts to common screen sizes, you have two options:

  1. The first option includes having your website updated so that it displays correctly on a smartphone. This can be accomplished by creating smartphone-specific code that essentially changes how your website looks on a mobile device.
  2. The second option is simply having a new website built.

Updating Your Website Versus Building A Brand New One

What’s the difference? Usually cost, which varies quite a bit from website to website. If your existing website is very small and simple, simply adjusting the code can do the trick. This could be around 5-10 hours of development work. On the other hand if your website is very large, has specifically built systems or interfaces, it may be cheaper to simply build a new website. For a point of reference, a full website build takes us about 20-30 hours to create which includes all aspects of planning, documentation, design and launch. At the end of the day most companies find more value in a new website, especially since sites that are not responsive at this point have not been updated for quite a few years.

In Closing

Updating your site to be usable and look professional to a potentially considerable segment of your audience is a no-brainer. Consider the value of a user loading your site very quickly, finding your address & contact info and more importantly the value of a first impression.