What is it?
Responsive web design (also referred to as RWD), according to Wikipedia:
a Web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).
We’ve seen a strong increase in mobile use of the internet over the past years, and from the statistics we see of our clients’ sites, there’s about a 50/50 split between mobile use vs. desktop use. Although mobile devices are smart enough to let you zoom in to content, it’s hardly user-friendly. When you’re on the go, you want to find information quickly, and you’re not looking for a complete website experience, like you would when you’re sitting down at the computer surfing the web. That’s why the “mobile versions” of websites are often stripped down to just text and quick information like contact info, phone number and maybe directions to a store (depending on the business you run, obviously).
This site shows how a responsive website should present content to its users. Click on the icons in the top of the page to see the various screen sizes.
Why is it important?
Aside from the obvious benefits for the user experience, there’s more to it than just that. Google recommends responsive design, and when your site is built responsive, it will result in a better ranking in search engine results.
Only update your site once. Some sites have a mobile version, but they have to managed separately, so when you add/change content on the desktop version, you have to make the same edits on the mobile version. Using responsive web design, editing the site once will be enough.
Having a responsive site makes you look like you’ve put effort into your site, causing your visitors to take you seriously. Not only that, but having a responsive site will keep your brand message consistent.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of drawbacks, but in my opinion, they’re being outweighed by the benefits.
One of them is that if you have a WordPress website, not all plugins are built fluid.
Or if you’re using widgets from external sources, they may not be responsive either, so you’ll have a great responsive site that’s being broken by an outdated script or plugin.
Depending on how new your current website is, and if your designer stuck to web standards, it may be possible to convert your current website to a responsive site, although it never hurts to go with a fresh coat of paint every once in a while.
Contact us today to find out what’s possible for your website.