In recent years, mobile website visits have surpassed desktop. What was once a domain of computers now has become a playground for portable devices, especially smartphones and tablets. This trend is widespread, and it has heavily impacted the field of e-commerce. In the e-commerce industry, Magento is one of the most used platforms. Magento retailers come face to face with the question how to optimize their websites for mobile users. In this dilemma, the options are choosing between an Adaptive Web Design (AWD) solution or taking the route of Responsive Web Design (RWD). But, at the same time, many fail to realize that there is a third option in the form of RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design. Here are some of the most important facts about RESS and why it might be useful for any Magento e-commerce solution.
What is RESS?
RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design is a mixture of AWD and RWD solutions, which desires to capture the benefits of both approaches at the same time. This is achieved by presenting server side content in a dynamical fashion according to the user’s device. But this adaptive approach is more than a simple change of viewport presentation. In fact, it includes a specialized process of the entire delivery of a web page. But, instead of presenting different URLs like AWD, it RESS provides a single address to all devices used to access it
Main Advantages of RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design
The size of an average webpage today is more than 1700 KB, so mobile access to a RWD portal might be slow. Big images which are designed for desktop users, which are set not to be visible to mobile users will still be transmitted when the site is loaded and this means that the data will be swapped and used. This is because RWD does not know the difference between a real mobile device and a small screen. Instead, RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design overcomes these problems by correctly recognizing the user devices, which can be a huge asset to a Magento setup, where buyers on e-commerce websites often use mobile devices and are definitely not happy when they encounter too much lag or slowing down of the page loading process.
Will RESS the Future?
There is no doubt that RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design is the future, especially when it comes to optimizing a Magento website for mobile devices. With its use, it can save both time and money through the simple process of adapting the content of a page to the end user and their device. For example, a page presented on an iPhone is only about 35% of its height when presented in a desktop environment. By cutting down the costs of bandwidth by a third for mobile devices, Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design provides an instant and very tangible benefit.
Mobile Adaptive Templating in Magento
As a solid e-commerce platform, Magento provides many features, and luckily, mobile adaptive templates are one of them. Employing these templates means that operators of e-commerce portals will not need to become bogged down in programming and tweaking processes, and can instead make use of the ready-made templates that utilized the RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design. With a choice between free and premium themes, it is exceedingly easy to start upgrading a Magento website.
The responsive approach will probably continue to be the most used implementation approach in the coming years, due to inadequate budgets. But, truly going mobile is the future and utilizing RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design solutions will be a part of that future as well. This is why more and more users will begin to experiment with them, especially when it comes to changes in the CMS. At the same time, RESS Server Side Enhanced Responsive Design will begin to catch on with the wider public when platforms like EPiServer, WordPress and Umbraco being to implement the same process. At the same time, Magento has already provided this service in the form of Mobile detect library, making the same mobile optimization possible on all e-commerce which run this platform.
Brian Taylor is the Vic President at Forix, a web development company based in Portand, Oregon. Forix specializes in Magento E-commerce Solutions and have recently started serving clients with expert Magento solutions in New York. Get in touch with Brian through LinkedIn.