Understanding the need for mobile responsive web build
Today, unlike our predecessors, we no longer depend on bulky desktop personal computers, which not too long ago were revered as the epitome of technological breakthrough.
Now Smartphones, tablets, iPhones, iPads and devices of increasing portability and convenience continue to revolutionise the industry. Hence the need for greater and greater flexibility of typical website builds to align with viewing on smaller devices of varying sizes and operating systems from various manufactures including Android and Apple.
See Figure 1 below for a comparison on mobile versus desktop access to the internet, in this case just looking at the US market as a benchmark.
Meeting the need: Mobile Responsive Web Solutions
Based on the above-mentioned advancement in devices and internet accessibility, the market responded with two primary alternatives: A Mobile version of a website and Responsive design and development.
Strictly speaking the responsive web build arose from the limitations of the mobile website, in an attempt to address such.
However, today there are various websites with separate mobile versions, while others have upgraded their existing websites with responsive features and applicable scripting. Still many haven’t made any shift at all, although they are likely to do so in the foreseeable future.
Mobile Friendly and Mobile Responsive differences
Most people often use the terms “mobile friendly” and “mobile responsive” website design or website build interchangeably. However, if one was to gain an intricate understanding on the subject, it’ll become apparent that there are in fact technical differences.
It is thus crucial to understand these differences as well as the advantages and features of the two options. For this purpose the following comparisons have been compiled:
Mobile Friendly Website
This is essentially a unique version of the base website, with a separate domain address or name. It is a duplicate version even though the content itself will vary.
- Requires duplication of content updates or development, due to the existence of two independent platforms.
- The mobile website as mentioned will have a unique address. Companies generally distinguish their mobile versions with m.companyname.com.
- Based on the above the domain protection can be compromised with this option. In other words the domain can be diluted and organic search engine optimisation or traffic adversely affected. This adds to website management because you have to maintain two separate platforms of content.
- This offers a personalised and tailored viewing and navigation experience for users. The server will execute the optimised page or version based on which device is detected.
- Link equity and link building will be diluted as shares from mobile technology will be independent of those shared by desktop browsers or the primary website. This adversely affects SEO, or curtails its efforts.
- Mobile technology is continually changing. As this advances so too will the need for ongoing maintenance of websites, especially where they are customised to specific devices. So while the mobile option offers a uniquely tailored avenue for specific devices, the questions of maintenance and relevance arise. Keeping the mobile site up-to-date, and in congruency to latest phones and browsers, will call for higher maintenance and more resources.
- On the basic premise of efficiency or output / result per unit resource, efficiency is diluted somewhat due to the separate websites and adjusted content.
- Both websites will have to be optimised for search purposes. This calls for separate SEO strategies or duplication of techniques to accommodate the desktop and mobile versions adequately.
- With regards to content, one of the signature characteristics of the mobile website, is the fact that it is built on less content. Since there are 2 versions of the base website or online representation, the desktop version will be content-heavy or more intensive. On the other hand the copy or copywritten content as well as images will be reduced wherever possible or necessary in the creation of the mobile website.
- Visually the mobile website is “bold” with big buttons, easy functionality for mobile users – such as click-to-call options that make sense in such cases – and content is kept to a minimal.
Related: How To Secure Your SME Website
Mobile Responsive Website
This refers to a singular website which can adapt in format and presentation to suite different viewing devices. This can be an adaptation of an existing website or, if deemed necessary, a complete new build to replace the old unresponsive site. The domain remains the same.
- All updates and back-end development are made seamlessly to the same, individual platform.
- Domain name or URL will be the same on the desktop, smart or any mobile device.
- Domain is protected as organic web traffic will not be redirected to another link or version. Search engines like Google therefore favour responsive options as a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoids any complicated and time-consuming redirects, and simplifies sharing of web addresses.
- In responsive design, the device facilitates optimum user experience by automatically adjusting to suite the device’s screen size and orientation – whether portrait or landscape. This takes place seamlessly, making it an intelligent, efficient and adaptive option.
- Responsive design entails scripting new code and adjusting existing code on the back-end or server-level of your website. This preserves the inherent link equity, meaning that all shares and backlinks will be credited to the primary website. This means all web traffic, from all browsing devices will be attributed to the authority of the base site – which is fantastic for search purposes.
- Responsive technology is as the name suggests: Adaptive and futuristic or forward-thinking. Essentially, it is largely pre-emptive and caters to next month’s or the following years devices quite comfortably. Although maintenance as a formality is necessary to sustain and enhance the standards of any website, the demands are far less in this case. This saves in time and development costs giving an overall better ROI.
- Considered a more intelligent and efficient model for new-age-relevant websites – due to the “simplicity in sophistication” so to say.
- Optimisation for web traffic or relevant SEO strategy will only apply to the single, primary website.
- In this approach, large images will either automatically compact or disappear where unnecessary on the smaller screen. However, what is advantageous is that essential content, articles and other features or elements will adapt by neatly ‘stacking’ and / or arranging themselves in such a way to accommodate the specifications of the browser and device.
- Still visually built for simplicity and mobile-friendliness on any device or orientation, the responsive look makes navigation easier, but doesn’t lose content. As mentioned the same content will intuitively adapt for optimum viewing experience.
This article has highlighted the main characteristics, core features and differences between what has become known as the “mobile friendly” website, versus the “mobile responsive” website.
We trust that you’ve found this review useful, but be sure to look out for forthcoming articles on the topic. Feel free to comment, we’d love to have feedback and hear your thoughts on the subject.
What’s Stopping Your Business From Growing?
Three masters of scale unpack the reasons why you might be failing at growth – or in danger of doing so.
So, what’s stopping you from scaling? If you ask Rich Mullholland, founder of Missing Link, the reality is that most entrepreneurs don’t need to understand what it takes to scale. “Scaling speaks to exponential growth,” he says, “which for the vast majority of business owners simply shouldn’t be a consideration. Growth by itself is okay, and even then, it should be growth as and when it’s required.”
Rich’s key point is that growth for the sake of growth should never be a business owner’s primary goal. Growth should be strategic, and good for the company. Growth without a solid foundation can actually harm – or even kill – your company.
If your goal is growth though, here are three key points to keep top of mind.
1. Too many business owners don’t understand what it takes to scale a business
“Entrepreneurs are so focused on getting through the month with their cash flow intact that they often fail to lift their heads and look to the horizon,” says Allon Riaz, CEO and founder of Raizcorp. “Scale requires strategic thinking, while most entrepreneurs are in operational thinking mode.”
Howard Mann, president at Brickyard Partners and a US-based business turnaround specialist, advises business owners to stop focusing on revenue growth alone. “Scaling a business is about balance and too many entrepreneurs just focus on the speed of revenue growth. When revenue grows without the infrastructure to support that growth, clients leave as quickly as they come in.
“Instead of focusing on top-line growth, focus on maximum profit margins. This will completely change where you focus your efforts. I would rather have a $10 million business with 50% margins over the false glamour of a $50 million revenue business with razor thin profits.”
2. Without the right systems, process and people, you’ll never be able to scale
Allon believes the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make are:
- Not arranging sufficient cash reserves for a growth period
- Believing that the people who brought you to point A are the same people who will take you to point B
- Having insufficient systems to scale the business
Rich agrees, adding that you need to focus on the business you want to be, and not the business you currently are. “Businesses often commit legacide,” he says. “They allow the legacy systems, put in place for a business of a smaller stature, to hold them back. Not to get too cheesy here, but to quote the Great One, NHL hockey legend Wayne Gretsky, you need to skate to where the puck is going. The systems you put in your business should be systems appropriate for the business you want, not the business you have. Sure, you’ll possibly be paying more in the short term, but it will be a fraction of what you lose trying to play catch-up later.”
Howard believes that losing track of managing the expenses required to manage growth is one of the biggest stumbling blocks entrepreneurs face. “To intentionally over simplify it, you want to figure out the most efficient and effective way to rapidly attract and close new clients while being able to serve and delight them at the lowest possible cost,” he says.
“Another mistake is taking on too much debt in the name of growth. We are all mesmerized by VC backed start-ups that put out press about their massive growth. You do not see how much cash they are burning through and that most of these companies have net losses that are growing as fast (or faster) than their revenue growth. Again, protect your profit margins. That is your growth fuel and protection against shocks in the economy.”
3. Growth for the sake of growth can actually kill your business
Before you embark on your growth journey, understand that growth, without sufficient structural foundations, can often lead to a business collapsing. “Some scale has the opposite of economies of scale, and actually becomes more expensive as the business becomes more complex,” says Allon. “It’s important to restructure the model as the business grows to ensure the highest possibility of economies of scale.”
Howard warns that a business structured to lose money as it grows is a poorly structured business. “Making the switch back to strong profitability after a growth phase is difficult to pull off,” he says. “Yes, we all know Amazon.com eventually did it. You are not Amazon.com. Growing with a net loss is a straight road to the business graveyard.”
Rich disagrees with the notion that growth in and of itself will lead to death. He believes that growth is, generally speaking, healthy. “I’ve seen businesses grow too quickly and not know how to deal with it, and I’ve seen businesses that out-grow the maturity of their management teams and get strangled by the firm hold the management team try to keep,” he says, but for Rich, this is the product of a business ill-prepared for growth, rather than a product of the growth itself.
“This is why slow is often better, as opposed to scale,” he says. “I remember when my son was young, and I was still his hero. I couldn’t imagine him shouting at me the way I did to my folks as a teenager – I’d be destroyed. So, I asked my dad about it, he smiled and said, don’t worry kiddo, they ease you into it, it all happens over time. By the time they start screaming, you’re ready. That’s true too for business growth. Most entrepreneurs are running their businesses as a real-time business school. You can’t always rush that education.”
Allon: One top tip for business owners on scale is to remain strategic by knowing what you want to create and by ensuring a healthy balance of capital resources, sufficient people skills and the appropriate support systems.
Howard: Famed business owner Ricardo Semler said “Only two things grow for the sake of growth: Businesses and tumors.” Get crystal clear on why you want to grow. Once you do, find your balance between accelerating new business and the cost to manage that business.Scaling, like a scale, needs balance
Rich: Stop thinking about scale, and start thinking about solving an important problem that world has, even (especially) if they don’t know it yet. It the problem is real, and big enough, you will have a scale-able business.
See Allon Raiz, Rich Mulholland and Howard Mann live at the first Secrets of Scale event, which will be taking place at the MESH Club in Rosebank on Thursday, 24 May. Buy your tickets online here: www.qkt.io/secretsofscale
Why Customers Don’t Respond To Disruption
You’ve got chatbots running your customer service, interactive screens across your stores and you’ve just appointed a chief digital officer. Why aren’t you seeing sales going through the roof?
PwC partner Quinton Pienaar says there could be many reasons for this. But the short answer is probably that in your understandable rush to stay relevant and keep up with the latest technology trends and developments, you lost sight of your number one priority. You’re just not that into your customers – and they know it.
It’s fairly easy to get dazzled by the array of technologies out there. But the trap that you’ve got to guard against is that you start seeing the world through a technology lens, rather than a customer one. Remember, technology is a tool, not an outcome. It’s the means to the end, not the end itself.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be transforming your business digitally. You absolutely should. But there’s a big difference between investing in technology to keep up with the Joneses, and investing in technology that’s going to drive specific business outcomes and improve the customer experience.
Related: Reimagine The Use Of Technology
In fact, it would be downright dangerous to ignore the game-changing benefits that the current wave of emerging technologies brings to the table. To understand what they can do for your business, you have to know what they are. We at PwC talk about the ‘essential eight’:
- The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the building blocks for the next generation of digital work.
- Robotics, drones, and 3-D printing are all about machines that extend the reach of computing power into the material world.
- Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) merge the physical and digital realms, and offer incredible advances in customer experience.
- Blockchain rethinks our approach to commercial transactions by allowing participants to exchange value, and verify ownership of something, without a third party.
Some of these technologies are verging on science fiction. So how do we use them in a way that supports customer obsession? The starting point of any successful customer transformation is a customer-focused design that brings together three essential elements – business strategy, customer experience and technology – into a coherent, fully-fledged digital strategy.
In other words, today’s most successful companies have a strategy that is focused around a simple and regularly-updated list of priorities. They incorporate the new generation of technologies like IoT, blockchain and AI. But they keep their people, and their customers at the core of their business by designing strategies that directly address customers’ underlying needs and desired outcomes.
This sounds dead obvious. But what we find is that many companies we talk to are focused on growing their revenues, or making improvements to their products and services, rather than creating better customer experiences. Or they have the strategy, but are battling to execute it effectively.
Of course, to underpin this customer transformation journey, you’re going to need some data and the foundational technologies on which today’s innovations depend – data mining and analytics, mobile, and cloud. You may also need to rethink your processes to manage, enrich and maintain data, and operationalise it throughout your business.
So you have all of that in place? Good. Now stop. Breathe. Ask yourself whether your technology and data are truly supporting an unwavering focus on the customer. Because if you take one message from this article, let it be this: in today’s marketplace, putting your customer at the centre of your business is imperative to driving growth and profitability, winning market share and unlocking the value of your technology investments.
Start This Business With Zero Advertising Budget And No Need For Premises
What do we need to do to make our chances of entrepreneurial success as high as possible? Is it possible to build and position a business that has the highest statistical chances of survival? How would we even go about building such a business? Financial Freedom Project seems to have the answer.
What are the causes of most business failures?
When it comes to business failure in South Africa, the numbers aren’t optimistic. Some of the more common reasons for business failure include:
- Start-up funding
- Ongoing support
- Lack of new business to sustain growth
- Admin time / costs associated with running a business
- High cost of equipment / premises
- Advertising budget
- Cost of personnel labor
- Legalities of employment contracts
- Costs of credit
- Market experience
- Competition within the industry
- Current market conditions.
With the odds stacked against you, what type of business could you start that offers you:
1. Minimal start-up funding
Consider minimal start-up funding requirements to mitigate as much risk as possible and make start-up as easy and quick as possible.
We need to go as low as less than one month of one month’s average salary as so to be able to start this business on the spot. Let’s make our criteria less than R10 000.
2. Mentor/ Trainer support
For support and experience we need to have easily accessible communication methods with a mentor / trainer i.e. WhatsApp and skype.
3. Access to a market full of customers with unlimited spending ability
Want a colossal market, how about an estimated 5.3 Trillion Dollars a day?
4. No need for an advertising budget
Maybe a business where customers come to you without advertising because they want what you have. Let’s be ridiculous and put a zero advertising budget.
5. Minimum paper work / admin requirements before and after sales
Let’s aim for no admin and have everything processed and stored online for absolute minimal ongoing costs.
6. No premises required
You can work from anywhere at minimal cost and only need one computer.
7. No employees required
This business must be able to run as a “one man show” as to exclude all labor costs and employment legalities. As in previous point, let’s aim for one person to run this business and internet to stay connected to the world.
8. Little competition
This industry offers the least possible competition between participants.
9. A industry with no “seasonal times” so you can make money all the time
To get a never ending supply of opportunity we absolutely have to be a part of the global supply and demand system.
10. A proven concept
This will be outlined below.
What’s the business?
Financial Freedom Project provides you with a long-term financial freedom by utilising financial markets. The Financial Freedom Project is a results-based wealth creation training and mentorship programme that has start-up capital requirements of only R4 000 to begin accessing markets. The course requires only 3 days of your time and offers unlimited course re-sits.
For more information about how you can work with Financial Freedom Project visit financialfreedomproject.net or call them on 010 020 5699 for further info.
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