The best way to make your website responsive depends on where you're starting from.
Building a new site? Then it's 'easy' and should be built in right from the start of the design process. Make sure your designers are considering the structure & layout of non-desktop devices and that they have experience of building responsive sites. Designers & developers love these 'Green field' builds, there's complete freedom in structure and they can choose from a range of frameworks to speed up build time and to deliver a site that delivers you the ROI you're looking for. All new sites we build are now responsive - if you insist on desktop only we can do it, but if you don't then your site will be responsive.
Migrating an existing site? This gives you a choice - a complete redesign or a migration of your existing theme.
How easy theme migration is & how long migration takes can vary wildly. Some designs are pretty simple to migrate, although there's often something on a site that needs a layout change to work. Mainly these are sites that have been built within the last couple of years using modern design techniques. Older sites, and those built using older layout techniques, can take longer in development and testing. At a first glance it can look like a site will be relatively simple to migrate, but there are often details in the layout and the way the site re-flows on the range of modern screens sizes that make it more time consuming than it first appears.
The two keys to a successful migration to mobile are:
- Focus on outcomes. If the client & developer have done their homework and understand the purpose and calls-to-action of the site then any needed design changes can be agreed on with a minimum of pain. A lack of focus can lead to a 'Design by committee' situation and can make redesigns time consuming. Everyone runs into the internal politics of the business rather than focussing on desired outcomes.
- Patience. It can take time to work through the redesign of a site, and if you are used to the exact way your site looks then it can be difficult to accept some of the changes that may be needed to make the redesign work within budget. Given an unlimited budget, almost any layout can be made to work across a range of modern devices. If the process is starting to drag on then it's probably time revisit #1 on this list with all the stake holders.
When moving an existing site to a responsive layout it's often better to restart the design process and view it as a new build rather than an addon. That gives you the freedom to revisit your calls to action to make sure they are working and to give your site a modern look & functionality at the same time. The difference in budget between a clean start on the theme and a 'migration' can be minimal, in some cases it's cheaper to redesign than to migrate your old layout.
If you'd like a fresh responsive site, or a conversion of your existing site, contact us