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Defense Contractor Website Design: Why Fire And Forget Is Best

Is your defense firm's website optimized for mobile devices? It needs to be. With responsive web design, your site will be good to go on any device.

Responsive Web Design Defense Contractors

Are you reading this on a mobile device? If so, you’re in the majority. It's true: Internet use on mobile devices has surpassed desktop computers.

According to a Morgan Stanley study, 2014 is the year when that great divide was crossed.

Mobile vs. Desktop Internet Usage
There’s more:

  • In the United States, 25% of Internet users only access the Internet on a mobile device
  • 61% of people have a better opinion of a company when they offer a good mobile experience
  • 26% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10% are opened on tablets

(via Smart Insights)

And mobile device usage by government buyers has exploded. According to Market Connection’s Federal Media & Marketing Study™ which included 3,700 federal decision makers (52% from defense or military agencies), in just two years the usage of mobile devices has shot up from 63% to 80%. Would you bet that percentage will keep growing? I would.

growing mobile usage
But this surge of mobile device use is creating a problem. Most websites are not built for mobile devices. Many sites are still set up only for desktop devices.

That’s a problem because mobile visitors on desktop-only sites can’t see the site very well, tend to leave quickly and become frustrated with the company. According to Google, 52% of users said they would be less likely to engage with a company if the mobile experience on their site was bad. Yikes!

As a workaround, some companies provide mobile templates to render different versions of sites just for mobile users. Depending upon the type of device viewing a website address, either a desktop or mobile version of the site gets presented.

That approach has worked reasonably well, but there’s a problem there, too. It tends to slow down a site's load time ever so slightly as the site is determining what type of device it is being viewed on (i.e. desktop or mobile).

Website load times matter. According to Econsultancy, 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. Want to see how your current website is performing on a mobile device? Check out this tool from Google. Test it now (I'll wait).

So what’s the solution? Responsive web design.

Responsive design is the method of designing web pages that automatically appear in their optimized form on all devices.

In other words, responsive design automatically reformats your website for all screen sizes so your website visitors can easily interact with your site no matter what device they're using.

To use an analogy defense contractors will know, think of responsive web design as “fire and forget” missile guidance. The missile (and the website) does not require further guidance after launch.

This site is built on a responsive web design platform. If you’re reading this on a desktop, shrink the size of your browser and watch the site elements rearrange themselves.

Here’s what it looks like for different screen sizes:


Fire Support Desktop

Fire Support Tablet

Fire Support Phone

Most websites should now be built on a responsive web design platform for the above reasons. But there are two more important reasons:

  1. Google recommends responsive web design. Google has gone on the record stating that it prefers responsive web design over mobile templates. Having one single site makes it easier for Google to crawl your site and reduces the chance of on-page SEO errors. This is why responsive design sites typically perform better and are easier to maintain than a separate, mobile site.
  2. Responsive web design adapts to future devices. One of the benefits of responsive design is that the size of what and how it is presented is based on screen size, not device. No matter what size screen someone is viewing your website on, it will display properly for that screen size. So as new devices in the future are being used for web browsing (TV, watches, glasses, etc.) your responsive site will always look great.

Fire away!

The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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