Some quick questions are:

  1. As a part of responsive web design, website contains print article option, but should there be a print option/button in an Tablet or Mobile version of the Desktop website?
  2. If we add print button, it will add heavy Javascript code, it may slow down the page load, specially in patchy 3G wireless signals, causing users to leave the site ( Users tend to leave the site, if it takes > 3 sec?). How to add Print functionality by not overloading the site?
  3. Are there any data available on how many mobile users have printed using print option in their mobile phone?

3 Answers 3


There is nothing saying you shouldn't have a print button on your mobile website, but it is not necessary. The browser the user is visiting your site from has every capability to provide the print functionality the user is looking for. If the user does not see the need to print from their mobile device, they aren't going to care about having that capability. If they do care about having the ability to print an article, they will use a browser that supports such functionality.

You don't require any additional JavaScript to provide print functionality from a website, no matter where it is browsed from. If you site have a Print Style Sheet your information will print out looking the same (printer defaults and capabilities allowing) no matter where the user is printing from:


Printing from a mobile device is not a straight forward task. Here is one article (of many) about how to Print from Your iPhone, and another about Everything You Need to Know About Printing From your Android Phone or Tablet.

If your user has the ability to print from their device they have gone through a series of very purposeful steps to allow them to do so. They will already be very familiar with what browsers allow them to print in the manner they are wanting. Don't try to second guess them.

So, while a print button might save the printer-savvy mobile user a little bit of time it isn't going to benefit them since they will already know where the print button is.


First question: Are your users even going to be able to print from their phones and tablets? Do they have reliable access to cloud printers or similar infrastructure?

If no (which seems somewhat likely given your next comment about patchy 3G): No - a print button here is superfluous.

If yes: Do your users want to be able to print off their phones/tablets? What kind of information does your site contain? Is it information that people would want to print out, even if they already have the information in an easily-portable format on their mobile browser, even if they could just take a screenshot*? This is a question you can answer by going to your users, not us.

*I am assuming your users are on smartphones, which AFAIK is a valid assumption to make if we're even talking about printing from phones and responsive design.


I would advise keeping the print button when displayed on mobile/tablet devices, you're assuming that when people print the screen from their devices that they want to get a paper version.

It is possible to print to a pdf that saves to their local/cloud storage which is especially useful for booking confirmations, receipts etc.

Obviously I can't tell you whether the JS you're using will slow down mobile devices because it will depend on the size of the JS and any libraries you'd be using. That being said using the native controls to print takes less than a second on the older generation android phone I use.

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