Regular visitors to our site will soon see that our web site has a new look and feel. So why have we done it?
It's no secret that many more of us are now using mobile devices to surf the web and our old site, while being usable on mobile devices, was beginning to creak a little under the new technology. We know that many of our customers place orders using mobile devices, so the time was right to update our site so that all our visitors, whatever devices they are using, can easily access the site to place orders even when they are on the move.
Like many companies considering a website update we had two ways forward - either upgrading to a responsive site or going the route of a site designed for those using laptops and desktop with a separate version optimised for mobile devices.
Responsive websites are very much in vogue at present. A responsive style website that 'responds' to the visitor and offers up the best version based on the how they are viewing the site sounds a good solution but like many 'one size fits all' solutions it works but does not always look pretty. It often creates pages with a lot of wasted space and uncomfortable formatting because it's hard to design pages that will look equally good on a small iPhone and on a 17", or larger, computer screen.
BBC News and The Guardian have recently moved to responsive sites albeit the new designs have not exactly been very popular, particularly the BBC redesign which has resulted in disjointed looking pages with large amounts of white space and badly rendered images when viewed on a standard sized screen. We trialled our site in a responsive layout and were not at all impressed with the results.
So we have decided to go the route of designing a new site for those using desktop and laptop computers and offering an optimised version of the site for our mobile visitors to facilitate quick and easy mobile navigation and ordering. The mobile version will not have all the pages that are on the main site but it will have all the products!
Mobile users will be automatically directed to the new version but with the option of easily to the full website with the click of a button if needed.
Our new site will be launched on 10th July and we anticipate that the mobile version will be live early in 2016 once we have completed final testing.