Alpha Software Blog

Why It’s Time to Shift to Mobile-First Web Development

If you haven’t yet shifted to mobile-first web development, it’s time to finally make the jump. By not doing it, you’re probably depressing traffic to your site, making your site appear lower in search results on Google and spending unnecessary time on development.


So concludes the article in SD Times, “Web development shifts to a mobile-first approach.” The article points out that a survey by 

Oberlo in 2018 found that more than half of web traffic comes from mobile phones — 52.2 percent, up from 0.7 percent in 2009. And you can expect that the number 

is higher today than it was in 2018.

In addition, Google gives priority in its search results for websites designed for mobile devices. Google started doing that back in 2015. It boosted search results for sites “where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”

In 2018, Google took that a step further, and began migrating to what it calls “mobile-first indexing.” Google explained, “Mobile-first indexing means that we'll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they're looking for.”

Note that even back in 2018 Google said its users were primarily mobile. And once again, you can be sure that an even higher percentage of Google users are primarily mobile today.

If you haven't yet, now is the time to move to mobile-first development.Clearly, then, you need to be doing mobile-first design and web development. What does this mean in practice? You may think that you’re doing mobile-first design if you follow responsive design, but that’s not the case. Bob Bentz, president of digital marketing agency Purplegator, explained to SD Times, “Mobile first should be considered a design strategy first. In other words, responsive design has made it easy for a website to look good on both desktop and mobile. What makes mobile first different, however, is that the web designer considers its mobile users first and then desktop users.”

Murphy O’Rourke, senior UX designer at digital tech consultancy SPR, told SD Times that mobile-first design means designing sites that load faster. And it also means re-thinking your entire web site’s design and flow. He explains, “Your messaging should be concise, so that it not only fits on the screen, but also it’s easy to digest in short increments…You’re aiming to be easily digestible, small chunks of information and workflows. So instead of a huge form, you might break it up into a couple different parts.”

Beyond that, he says, it also means using phone capabilities that desktop don’t have. “Using your native features, you can automatically input things based on your location, or using your camera,” he says.

Finally, mobile-first design means designing for taps, not clicks. So things that don’t work well with taps, such as drop-down menus, should be eliminated.

Choosing the Best Tool for Mobile-First Development

To make the switch to mobile-first development, you need to choose the best mobile development platform. Alpha TransForm (for non-developers) and Alpha Anywhere (for developers) are ideal for mobile development. They can work independently or together as a single platform. Alpha TransForm helps business users craft online or offline mobile apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. Alpha Anywhere has the unique ability to rapidly create mobile-optimized forms and field apps that can easily access and integrate with any database or web service and can exploit built-in role-based security or robust offline functionality. Learn more about Alpha TransForm and try it free for 30 days.

Download and try our no-code app maker or create an app with a free tutorial.

Prev Post Image
App Development Software for iOS
Next Post Image
Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development: Key Factors

About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

Related Posts
Top Security Concerns for Low-code and No-code Development
Top Security Concerns for Low-code and No-code Development
What Are Super Apps? Get the Facts
What Are Super Apps? Get the Facts
Alpha Anywhere Enables Music Students to Share Performances Despite COVID
Alpha Anywhere Enables Music Students to Share Performances Despite COVID

The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.