Should you prioritise mobile over desktop when it comes to your website?

14 September 2016| Post by Graham

AuthorGraham

How are your visitors accessing your website, and does your website cater for them?

You’ve probably heard how paramount mobile responsive websites are in allowing your customers access to your site from any device. Without enabling your site to be ‘mobile-friendly’, you limit your audience, your SEO rankings will suffer, you’ll lose potential leads from promotions and you’ll create a frustration to anybody determined to use your site on a mobile device.

But is mobile now more important than desktop?

Two years ago the number of global users on mobile devices overtook desktop, understandable yet bonkers when you think about the scale of it.

Now in 2016, mobile traffic is now bigger than ever, everyone’s buying the latest devices and network services are having to up their game to keep up with the demand.

Top stats site HostingFacts.com predicted that during 2017 there will be more internet traffic than all prior internet years combined, and 68% of that traffic will be from a mobile device – Bold claims, but totally possible.

So, you can’t deny, mobile responsive websites are uber important. However, let’s not overlook the fact that mobile technology is slowing down.

It’s not often these days that the latest device has much more than a better screen, processor or battery, and in my opinion, as soon as the evolution of something slows down, interest dips and therefore the usage suffers.

Added to the fact that expert reports are beginning to surface indicating that too much mobile use can affect sleep, self-esteem and attention spans, therefore Governments are trying to encourage the public to “take a digital break”.

Right, so what about desktop websites?

Earlier we looked at mobile browsing now surpassing desktop use, but does it really? That might just mean that society has become a whirlwind of selfies and hashtags making for more mobile ‘traffic’, yet we’re still using desktop websites as much as we used to, if not more.

Nobody I know is throwing out their laptop just because they bought the new iPhone.

I’m confident when I say that desktop browsing is still a big part of our lives and will always continue to be. Certain tasks just require a bigger screen and sense of concentration, maybe it’s to do with trust and expected reliability of service? Would you ever sort your mortgage on your mobile phone while on the bus? Or apply for a job? My guess is probably not.

Mobile devices are a great tool for socialising, a quick browse around and getting quick access to snippets of information. But desktop websites can provide much more information in a more engaging way and will likely be the preference for years to come, especially in the B2B market.

So what’s the answer?

So to summarise, no you shouldn’t prioritise mobile over desktop, nor vice versa. All resolutions of your website should be finely tuned to provide a flawless experience to ensure everyone is catered for, no matter how they view your content.

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