Internet used to be for personal computers only. WiFi and mobile data used to be expensive and casual internet user cannot afford it. Computers were large, bulky, and limited to the home or the office.
With the rise of mobile phones and tablets, however, mobile web traffic suddenly skyrocketed. Everyone and anyone can surf the web while on the go, as long as they have a working internet connection. According to Visitorz, a UK based website traffic supplier, 80% of internet users now own a smartphone. And with those smartphones, they access the internet.
Smartphone technology has exploded in the past decade. Phones used to be limited to just calls and texts, but have since become more sophisticated. Smartphones are basically pocket-sized computers, and are powerful enough to rival the computing capacity of PCs in the early 2000s.
Wifi technology has also improved immensely. More and more hotspots are mushrooming all over the world. To keep up with demand and make spaces more profitable, businesses, cafés and restaurants started offering free WiFi to all of their customers.
As both the internet and the gadgets accessing it have become more affordable, traffic is now skewed towards mobile. In fact, even without factoring in tablets, smartphone mobile traffic still surpasses PC.
What does it mean for websites?
The internet is built on communication and the distribution of content. Content is available on the websites. When the PC was the primary producer of web traffic, websites were geared for PC screens, optimising them for large screen consumption.
With the shift to mobile, websites need to be more responsive. Before, content only needs to fit a horizontal screen – the orientation, the font size, and most elements on the site remain static. But now, with the shift to mobile, all of these have to adjust automatically to make them easy to read on a small screen.
Mobile web traffic is bound to keep growing. Whilst PC will likely never completely go defunct, it’s safe to surmise that mobile traffic will reign supreme on the web for a long time.