Mobile web beats desktop

For the first time, mobile web usage has overtaken web usage on traditional computers and laptops, a new study has found.

The shift highlights the changing tides in computing, and the rapid movement towards mobile and tablet devices as the most popular way to consume information.

The study by Statcounter found that in October 2016, 51.3% of web pages were loaded on mobile devices – the first time it surpassed that of PCs, desktop and laptop computers.

Commentators say that this is significant for small and medium-sized businesses, especially if their websites not optimised for mobile devices.

Statcounter based its findings on 15 billion page views per month, to over 2.5 million websites. While internet usage from traditional computers still accounts for the majority of those views, its share is reducing month-on-month. In October 2009, PCs were responsible for almost 100% of web usage. Now, after developments in mobile technology that have seen the release of faster, more capable smartphones with endless functions, the computer’s internet usage share sits at just over 55%.

There is a fear that if the trend continues, sole traders, small and even medium-sized businesses could be left behind, relying on archaic websites that aren’t viewable on a mobile. That problem has been compounded by recent changes search engine giant Google have made to their algorithm – now, mobile-optimised websites are being ranked better, while those without mobile optimisation are ranking worse.

The result means businesses without mobile-optimised websites will see a dramatic reduction in web traffic, enquiries and sales. With only 10% of fabricators and installers having a fully mobile-optimised website, both developments could spell disaster for the glazing industry.

“We’ve worked with dozens of businesses that have come to us with websites that are not fit for purpose,” Andrew Scott, managing director of Purplex, said. “Statistics like this should ring alarm bells for companies with outdated websites.”