The desktop website may be dying but you don’t need an app!

the new content marketing cardiology mobile responsive website

I used the Studio Press Sixteen Nine theme for my new mobile responsive website.

Are you wondering if you need to build an app for your business?

Are you stressed that you’re missing out on engaging with the growing number of internet users who browse from their smart phones and tablets because your website isn’t mobile responsive?

On the weekend I attended the Key Person of Influence Brand Accelerator Event (well worth it) and was nodding my head at every nugget until web marketing presenter Kylie Bartlett declared to the audience that, in the future, businesses won’t need websites, they’ll just need apps.

What? Sorry what? Did I just hear you tell an entire audience of SMEs that they shouldn’t bother with building websites?

The colour drained from my face. Why? Because so many businesses already think that and it’s a constant battle to convince business owners that they need their own web realestate. You still need your website to be pumping life into your social channels. You still need a central home for your content so you can drive potential clients to your list or to your ecommerce platform. However, with mobile becoming the mainstream for many users, businesses are panicking that they are going to be left behind if they don’t build an app.

with mobile becoming the mainstream for many users, businesses are panicking that they are going to be left behind if they don’t build an app.

Industry experts are predicting that mobile will take over desktop by 2014, but, here’s the thing, with all due respect to Kylie (who is a brilliant presenter and speaker on web marketing by the way), you don’t need an app. You just need to make your website mobile responsive. You can then create an app interface (or have a crafty techy do it for you) so it looks like an app but it means that wherever someone is viewing your content, your viewers will be ‘appy! (pardon the pun). People will still use desktop (or large screen devices… who knows what the future will bring?) to do more in-depth research, even if they do their initial research on mobile platforms, that is my prediction. It really depends on the nature of your website, so let’s not throw the large screen or desktop website out with the bath water just yet.

If you think changing to a mobile responsive design will be painful, the good news is that the good folks at Studiopress have made it easy for you by providing a range of fantastic mobile responsive website themes out of the box. Here are a few examples I’ve created for my content marketing clients:

You don't need an app, you just need a mobile responsive website

A mobile responsive website for Evans and Evans Pools in Ipswich using the Studiopress theme: Portfolio.

you don't need an app, you just need a mobile responsive website

Ann’s website uses the Eleven40 Theme by Studiopress. This is the tablet view.

You don't need an app. You just need a mobile responsive website.

This is another example of the Portfolio theme in tablet view.


you don't need an app. You just need a mobile responsive website.

This mobile responsive website was created using the Studiopress Balance theme.

After attending KPI, I resolved to do something about my non-mobile responsive website and the result is what you see here! It took me a day to get my new website up and running and I hardly had to change a thing. The theme is the new sixteen nine theme by Studiopress.

I’m still playing with it and have a few little things to fix but overall, I’m really, ehem, ‘appy!

How about you? Do you think you need an app or are you stalling on creating a mobile responsive website? Leave a comment below.

  • Sally Thibault

    I almost head a heart attack Cas when I read the headline! Then I read the article, you are so right, websites are still what people want to see. They want to know that you are real, and content driven! We have to be careful not to get carried away by the whole ‘there is an app for that’, many clients are still very traditional in their views. They want to know that you will be around for a while,and you have credibility!

    • Cas McCullough

      Yes, my thoughts exactly Sally. And I think that many people, like the presenter at this event, may not realise that you can make your website mobile responsive. The latest research suggests that people no longer want a peared down version of a website on mobile.

      • Donna Moritz

        I agree – they want to be able to click through to content! And most content brings them in, in the form of articles, blogs or lead pages… an app, unless you have a massive community from which to sell it – or you have just stumbled on the next Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja – is not going to make you millions without a platform.

        • Cas McCullough

          So true Donna!

  • Janina Lear

    I have to say I totally agree with you Cas. There was some talk a few years back of websites dying and I have heard Kylie Bartlett say this many times. I think she may still be stuck in the days of static websites where there was no interaction at all. I believe one still needs a website with a blog where content can be shared and establish someone as a true KPI. People can comment and engage as we are doing right here. Thinking otherwise is just stupid. I am probably a 50/50 mobile/desktop person. Reading long content on a mobile is not my thing.

    • Cas McCullough

      I do have to say that she did recommend blogs as opposed to static websites and much of her presentation was good. It was just that one thing i felt needed to be clarified. As with anyone, we need to filter what people say.

  • Donna Moritz

    Great pick up Cas – I think that it is unfortunate that many impressionable business owners in the audience will be taking advice of a speaker not realising that they are missing the whole point of the difference between a platform and a bright shiny object or tool! An app can be amazing but as PART of a platform – building one on it’s own is useless – and as you say, responsive websites can work in the same way. I shudder to think of all the small business owners leaving KPI thinking they can scrap their websites and start talking to App developers. Eek.

    • Janina Lear

      Super scary.

  • treb072410

    Great post! I really had a great read Cas.. I totally agree with you in this post! Thanks for sharing..

  • TheTrend

    Part of the problem of the desktop website dying is a lot of sites such as news/political and search engines are all ran by big corporations overseas who don’t really give a rip.

    Most sites focus on being *flashy* and wonder why they are losing visitors so instead of toning down the flashy stuff they bombard you with annoying ads and loud sounds that take over you’re computer.

    When I see tech support forums that play these ads or sounds I immediately give my back arrow friend a squeeze! Yet they keep wondering why people use ADBlock!

    I have never seen Ad Block actually work!