Mobile First

When designing a website according to the “mobile first” philosophy, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets form the basis of the design. In many cases, one designs a website for laptops and desktops and adapts the design for mobile devices. Here, they are taking the opposite route: design for mobile use first and then for larger screens.

What is mobile first?

By mobile first, we mean that when designing a website, you assume it will be used on a mobile device such as a smartphone. In recent years, the popularity of this type of design grew. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, more and more users are viewing websites via their mobile devices.

Differences mobile first and traditional design

There are some differences in design between a website for laptops or desktops and a website for smartphones. First, it is the size of the screen. PCs traditionally have a screen with a 4:3 ratio, whereas smartphones often have a 16:9 ratio. Websites for PCs are also designed with capabilities for plug-ins such as Flash.

In order to use the Internet properly on a cell phone, simpler and less cumbersome Web sites came along, derived from the original site for laptop and PC. As smartphones become an increasingly dominant part of Internet traffic, you are seeing more and more sites developed for smartphones. The website for “fixed” use is then derived from that or scaled dynamically thanks to responsive design.

Mobile first and SEO

The popularity of mobile Internet is constantly growing. Therefore, mobile first design is a logical development when designing a website. The number of searches from a mobile device is more than half the total. And a growing group never uses the Internet via a laptop or PC.

We will see these proportions confirmed in the near future. These are important things to keep in mind when optimizing your website for search engines.

My advice

Because of the growth of Internet via mobile devices, it is smart to design a website properly functional for this. Especially for new websites, a mobile first design is recommended. An alternative is to design through what is known as responsive design, where the website automatically adapts to the device that reads it. This is the most elegant solution, but you will be bound by some restrictions.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mobile First?

Mobile first means that when designing a website, you put its use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets first. As the number of mobile users has grown tremendously, we see this method more and more.

What is the impact of Mobile First on SEO?

Mobile Internet use continues to grow. More than half of all searches are done on a mobile device. This will only increase. So this method of development will only increase. So keep this in mind when you get started with SEO.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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This article was originally published on 22 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 22 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.