Why Design A Mobile First Web Site?

According to Statistica the worldwide number of mobile phone users in the world in 2020 has reached 4.93 billion. Up from 4.1 in 2015. Of those mobile phones 3.5 billion of them are smartphones.

Mobile Responsive and Mobile Friendly Sites Just Aren’t Fast Enough.

Building a site that’s mobile friendly or responsive (i.e not Mobile First) can cause all sorts of problems.Things that are in one place on your computer screen are in totally different places on your cell phone.


you’re compromising the performance of your website!

So, how could we get the absolute best performance across all devices?

Take the complete opposite approach and build for the smallest mobile device first.

Designing a Mobile First Webpage is becoming ever more important in website design as it provides your site visitor with a consistent experience across all devices and screen sizes. The ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic has increased the use of smartphone and mobile devices significantly and this trend will not diminish when the pandemic is brought under control. Every day more people are accessing the Internet and making purchases using smartphones and tablets.

With such large numbers of people using mobile phones to navigate the web and make purchases, it clearly makes sense to give Mobile First design your top priority.

Mobile First Design vs Responsive Design – A responsive designer starts with a desktop, at maximum screen resolution, and then scales down to tablets and smartphones. Mobile First designers start with the smallest screen and then adapts the layout so that it can easily be viewed on tablet and desktop devices.

Mobile First Aims To Deliver The Best User Experience Whatever The Device.

What Is Mobile First Design?

Mobile First web design is a method whereby you determine what webpage elements will be included in the very limited space offered by a smartphone and only after completing this design to you work out how to include other elements that would be useful in the larger tablet and desktop screens.

This makes it essential that designers prioritize what to include in the small screen and this almost always means “content”.

What Are The Benefits of Mobile First Design?

Appeal To A Wider Audience – this seems pretty obvious but the vast majority of websites are NOT designed for smartphones, these websites may well be responsive but often are unnecessarily cumberson for the visitor to use and navigate.

Improving Conversion Rates – Smartphone traffic worldwide to retailers runs at around 56%, while on desktops it is 34%. You might think this is fantastic but the downside is that sales convertion rates are considerably lower, at about half that of desktops.


So, Internet users are happy to browse on smartphones but like their desktops to further research and make the purchases, particularly when the purchases are expensive or complex.

The main holdback for smartphones is the check out process, the mobile add to cart rate is 10.4%, compared to 12.9% for desktop. The main hurdles are a) registration before purchase, b) the payment method and c) forms. This is vitally important and will be covered in a separate post, so for the moment just bear this in mind when effecting your Mobile First Designs.

Lower smarphone retail conversion rates might seem like a drag but smartphone use as a primary way of browsing the Internet is only going to increase in the future so we have to deal with it.

Improving Page Load Speeds – a one second delay in loading your page can result in a seven per cent loss in conversions and an eleven per cent drop in page views. Mobile First design and particularly use of the WPOptimal theme on your WordPress sites will increase your profits.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Mobile First Design?

As mentioned above retail conversion rates are lower on smarphones but this is down to differing aims. A mobile user usually has a different objective i.e. browsing than a desktop user who is deep researching and purchasing.

Visitor Intention and Mobile First Design – every page on your website is part of a funnel where you are guiding your visitor to an objective, which may be a sale or information that will guide them to a solution. Businesses and designers often mix up their visitors intent with the desire to show off the business’ products or services, or just to show how much they know.

Your website is journey for your visitor, who simply wants to get to his solution with the minimum fuss and interuptions. Every page on your website should have a specific purpose. This is more important on smartphones that have such limited space that nothing extraneous can be included.

WordPress – Do I go For Mobile First, Adaptive and Responsive Web Design?

With WordPresss, when trying to decide whether to choose Mobile First, Adaptive or Responsive web design there are two primary factors to take into account:

  1. Your audience – what devices do they tend to access your site on and what is the future trend.
  2. Do you have an exisiting website or are you building a new one.
  3. Are themes available and are they designer friendly.



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