29 Oct

How to create a responsive version of your website

Does your e-commerce store look good on a smartphone? If you’ve been relying on old techniques, then your website may look great on a desktop but fail miserably on a mobile screen.

This generation’s answer to better website appearance on mobile is to follow a responsive design. You might say that going mobile might be a waste of time, but check this out: More than 260 million U.S. shoppers own mobile devices, and more than 25 percent of them are using their gadgets to shop online. Imagine just a fraction of that figure discovering your awesome-looking Magento store on their tablets and phones, and deciding to buy something via their devices. That sounds like big bucks to me!

The key to grabbing the attention of mobile consumers is to set up a responsive website that looks amazing on their gadgets. Here are some tips on how to create a responsive design for your online shop:

Study your mobile market reach

Before spending time and money to build a responsive design, check first if your efforts are worthwhile. Analyze your website’s potential to go big on mobile by checking your existing mobile user market. Experts say that if your website gets at least 20 percent of its traffic through mobile, it’s a good investment to go responsive.

Ensure that the responsive design does not affect your current site layout

Plan out your responsive design so that it does not destroy your current desktop interface. Before launching your site’s mobile version, test and re-test the responsive interface to check for any kinks. It may also be a good idea to know what kind of mobile devices access your site the most, so you can tailor your design to those devices.

Customize content for mobile

Mobile users usually want different things from the average desktop shopper. Check the search terms of your mobile audience and then customize your content for them.

Optimize existing images and codes for mobile use

Shoppers on mobile want things fast, and so a slow-loading website just won’t do. Make sure that your responsive design includes priority content loading with lazy load feature, exact image dimensions for mobile devices, use of open Web fonts, less server round trips, and use of CDN.

By having a responsive web design, you can capture the best of both worlds: desktop and mobile. Let your customers view your site however they are most comfortable.

[Photo courtesy of Hina on Flickr]
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