In the wedding industry it’s not unlikely that 60% or more of the brides and grooms visiting your website will do so via a smartphone or tablet (i.e. mobile device).

All the wedding industry marketing gurus talk about a website being “mobile friendly,” but in reality it’s even MORE IMPORTANT that your website is RESPONSIVE.

Mobile-friendly website design and responsive website are two different things, and it’s important to understand the difference.

Mobile-friendly means your website “works” on a mobile device or tablet. It might not be the best presentation, but it works.

Responsive means your website LOOKS GREAT on a mobile device or tablet. It’s a great presentation no matter what device someone is using. It looks great on an iPhone, Android, tablet, laptop, or desktop. It looks great no matter what screen size it is being viewed on.

A “mobile-friendly” website isn’t necessarily responsive.

A “responsive” website is 100% mobile-friendly.

Yes, it can get confusing.

Mobile-friendly and responsive sites both work on mobile devices, but a mobile-friendly website is NOT the same thing as a responsive website.

Think of a responsive site as the “most friendly best presentation of your business no matter what device someone is using.”

Did you know… a “mobile-friendly” website design might pass the “Google mobile-friendly” test, but it still is not delivering the best visitor experience for a bride / groom browsing your website from their smartphone or tablet.

Responsive websites always pass the Google mobile-friendly test AND provide the best website visitor experience.

Yes, there are tools and software to turn your current website design into a mobile-friendly or responsive “experience.” This is a quick-fix type workaround and not necessarily a best practice that creates the best opportunity for conversion.

Let’s talk about mobile-friendly vs. responsive.

Mobile-Friendly

A “mobile-friendly” website design shows a website exactly the same across all browsing devices. The same way it appears on a desktop device is the same experience on a smartphone – obviously, only smaller.

Text may be difficult to read on the mobile device. Features like drop down navigation are likely limited. Even though it is “mobile-friendly,” it probably does not create the best visitor experience based on the device a bride or groom is using to browse your website.

Images typically display smaller. Users may have to manually size their browser screen using the two fingers “pinching” or “stretching” technique. (a/k/a “gestures”).

Responsive Design

A responsive website design, which is what most businesses in the wedding industry should have, is a design that “responds” and CHANGES based on the browsing device a bride or groom visiting your website is using.

Properly created, using a responsive design will OPTIMIZE a visitor’s browsing experience by creating a web page optimized for the device that is accessing it.

Responsive websites deliver the BEST EXPERIENCE no matter what browsing device is, including:

Desktop computers
Laptops
Tablets
Smartphones

Do you want the bride and groom visiting your website to have a FAIR TO OK experience or a GREAT experience.

Mobile-friendly = visitor experience is FAIR TO OK no matter what the browsing device is.

Responsive = visitor experience is GREAT no matter what the browsing device is.

 

The Many Benefits of Responsive Design

There are many benefits of creating your website using a responsive design. Here are 10.

(1) Website content presentation changes automatically depending on the device used to browse the website.

(2) Navigation is condensed and easier to use.

(3) Images are optimized for the layout and presentation.

(4) Layout, spacing, and padding is automatically corrected for the device being used to browse the website.

(5) It creates an EXCELLENT user/visitor experience at your website.

(6) Google recommends building websites using responsive design as an industry best practice. A responsive design is likely to be viewed more favorably in their ranking algorithm. In other words, responsive websites are an important part of your overall search engine optimization strategy for getting (or keeping) top rankings at Google.

(7) Responsive websites create a better impression about your business.

(8) Responsive websites increase conversion rates and sales. This should be no big surprise. A better visitor experience at your website leads to more inquiries and sales.

(9) Your website will load faster on a mobile device if you use responsive design. Slow loading pages are the #1 reason people will leave your website. Poor visiting experience or device related presentation issues is another reason people leave websites.

(10) Competitive advantage is a huge benefit. When your website is responsive and a competitor’s is not, a bride / groom visiting your website has a better and more favorable experience. You win, a competitor loses.

Action Items

Talk to your website designer to determine if your website is responsive.

Take a look at your website from a smartphone.

If your current website is NOT responsive, it’s time to think about a redesign.

Test your website at the Google mobile-friendly test site: https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly

There are many WordPress themes that are out-of-the-box responsive. Some of my favorites are over at Elegant Themes Marketplace.

https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/category/responsive/

One of my favorites is the Nimble responsive theme: https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/nimble/

Other Helpful Resources

Google Mobile Friendly Guidance

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/

Google Glossary of Mobile Related Terms

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/glossary

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