During 2012 - something quite important has changed in web habits. We had seen the prevailing pattern and have read all the articles telling us of the changes coming our way. But now suddenly we are realizing that Mobile is not only something we should consider in our overall web strategy, but more importantly we may have to consider that mobile devices are now the preferred browsing platform and Second is desktops and laptops. On top of that we need to recognize how people's search habits are changing too.

Mobile vs desktop data

According to Infographics, half of all local searches are performed on a mobile device.  It is easy to extrapolate that in very near future more people are likely to reaching your DotNetNuke, nopCommerce Joomla and other CMS systems using their smartphones, So making sure you website is readable on a phone is not something you can no longer ignore. Load times, readability and images often render differently on a smaller screen.  If a website is less functional when viewed on a phone versus a regular PC or laptop, many mobile users will simply leave a site.

We use google PageSpeed tool on practically every site we produce for our customers to improve on page speed. Now also, to help mobilize our customer's sites we are also using GoMoMeter tool to show us hows the finished site site looks on a smartphone, and provides a free report with personalized recommendations tailored to how our customer business can build a more mobile-friendly experience. To get started.

Between 2004- 2012 here at SalarO have built over 1300 customer site's DNN skins and probably sold over 4000 packaged DotNetnuke skins just on DNN platfrom + all the nopCommerce, WordPress and Joomla sites we had to do on the side. We expect a large proportion of these customers asking us to help to update them for a Responsive Design Skin.

When we are given a project the first thing my team does is to ask a few basic questions, like:

  1. What make and version of CMS is used in the current site? 
  2. What Modules or E-Commerce Store is used - are they also Responsive on their own right and look good on small screens? 
  3. How well is the content going to re-flow on a mobile device

 Currently an on-line store based on for example Catalook will never be Responsive so to ensure all our catalook + DNN customers can upgrade to a Responsive Design, we are currently working with Catalook to ensure that the next release can perform in Responsive design environment.

However, our tasks does not end with just these two aspects of the site. we are having to deal with:

  • Keep loading times fast
  • Simplify navigation
  • Be “thumb friendly”
  • Design for visibility

The best advice we can give currently to our customers is to ask them to let us design for Tablets like iPad first and just ensure that it also looks good on both pc/laptops as well as smaller smartphones. Therefore we are no longer designing for a wide screen desktops first. Since this is now clearly a shrinking market and the  tablets and smartphones are growing at the expense of these markets shrinking.

Have a look at our latest Responsive Design Skin Pack for DotNetNuke that covers all devices. Check it out on your smartphone or reduce the browser size on your desktop slowly to see the behaviour on SmartPhones.

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