In the not too distant past, there used to be only two ways you could view a website: desktop or laptop. Now that we have the internet of things, even your refrigerator can get online.

This year, mobile internet use surpassed desktop use, and that means the way your law firm’s mobile website appears across different devices is more important than ever.

A Multiplicity of Screens

Back when we only had two options for getting online, it was easy enough to know how large you needed to make your website. Most monitors were 800 or 1024 pixels wide, so designers could build fixed-width websites and feel confident that they would display the way they were meant to.

But as the devices we use to get online change, it becomes more difficult to ensure that a website will be seen by everyone the way it’s intended.  Screen size can now vary widely, from the 4” screens of the iPhone 5, to the 6” screens found on the increasingly popular “Phablets”, to the 9 or 10+ inch screens you see on medium to large-sized tablets.

Further Reading: 5 Way’s Your Law Firm’s Website is Losing You Money

Dedicated Mobile Sites vs Responsive Web Design

Website designers have used two ways to get around the discrepancies between desktop and mobile screen size. One was to build unique, dedicated websites made for specific devices. These lived on separate subdomains and had different content, markups and presentations. If you needed to make changes to your site, you would have to change each individual site for those changes to be viewed across all the different devices.

Responsively designed web pages, on the other hand, automatically adjust themselves to fit the screen size they are being viewed on. Text automatically reformats to be easier to read and interact with, images resize so that they better fit the screen and load faster, and content is reordered to make it easier to read, or pared down so that only what is absolutely necessary is visible, both of which makes the page more navigable.

This all helps to create a better user experience, and user experience is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when building a modern website.

How Does Your Website Look on Different Devices

If your law firm’s website isn’t providing a good user experience for mobile visitors, you may be losing possible clients. Modern web users quickly lose patience with websites that are difficult to navigate or read, or that take a long time to load. Don’t miss out on clients just because your website is out of date.

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