The world of web design is changing so quickly, it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Being a web designer, and always looking at websites, I don’t always notice how websites I am visiting are working.
Recently, while on vacation, I was forced to visit many websites, as a customer though, mostly looking for good places to eat and shop with my family.
I was shocked as to how many websites were not at all responsive or mobile friendly! It actually became a personal experiment of how many sites I would leave due to them not being mobile friendly.
Of the seven places we had dinner that week, I passed up 8 of them because of websites that could not be viewed in a mobile format! Those are 8 restaurants, that no matter how good their food was, or how nice or affordable they were, I wasn’t going to read their menus or view their galleries, and obviously wasn’t going to take my family to eat there, because I could not view their site on my phone quickly and easily.
Those places never had a chance with me due to an outdated website. And I am only one person, how many others did the same thing?
This was a great practical justification of my designing for mobile first philosophy. I have been using this method for a while now, and this experience has confirmed that this is the correct path.
Now, these were established brick and mortar businesses that have probably been around for years. Losing one or two customers may not hurt them. But what if these were freelancers who may only be around a year or even just starting out? For freelancers, losing just one or two opportunities could really hurt your growth and your confidence. I know for me, being a freelancer, losing two opportunities would be very frustrating. How about losing opportunities when you haven’t even had the chance to pitch your services? That seems completely unfair!
As freelancers, it is hard enough to get leads. You need to make sure all your tools are working to their fullest potential, so you can work to yours. You need to have your online presence, website, blog, and social media, all up to today’s standards to give you the best opportunity for success.
More and more people are completely turning to their smartphone to do all their online tasks. Online banking, investing, paying bills, ordering take out, and even grocery shopping, have all become daily mobile phone tasks for so many, including myself!
Besides the fact that search engines like Google, are penalizing websites for not being mobile, there is another reason that may be overlooked in this discussion. The fact that there are more smartphone owners than desktop or laptop owners. A mobile phone that costs $700 will get paid off at a low monthly rate for two years. It’s much easier to afford than a $700 laptop. People are also converting to a “mobile phone only” method of using the internet. So wouldn’t these factors show how important a mobile friendly website is?
The fact is that your website must be responsive and mobile friendly. It will hurt your business if it is not. As you can see from my experience in the beginning of the article, those restaurants lost my business because of their website, nothing else.
Freelancers can not afford to miss out on these leads.
So look at your online tools and make sure that they are up to snuff!