Responsive Web Design
Mobile devices now account for around half of all internet browsing and projections suggest that as many as 83% of us will favour our smartphone or tablet for accessing the internet by 2015.
This dramatic shift in surfing habits has been the catalyst for savvy web designers and Internet marketers to change their approach towards website design and user experience. Prior to the evolution of mobile devices with fast access to mobile broadband, web designers only had one primary challenge – how to keep the same look and feel of a website when viewed on the various desktop computer browsers.
Viewing and navigating websites on Smartphones and tablets is a vastly different experience than it is on the traditional desktop computer monitor. A good website designed for both desktops and the mobile web needs to have design elements which cater for mouse clicks and touch screen, variety of screen sizes, the larger variety of screen resolutions, alternatives to Adobe’s Flash technology which Apple and some others cannot natively display. All these and more are features that have become crucial considerations when creating websites with Responsive Design.
Before I explain the 5 reasons why a responsive design is so important for your website, allow me to explain what is meant by the term ‘responsive website design’.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web Design is the result of website development which is coded so that the design framework ensures a fluid and optimal viewing experience regardless of what size of screen, resolution or device the website is being viewed upon. Without a mobile or responsive website, your visitor will be presented with your desktop site in miniature size on their Smartphone. This may not be important for hobby websites but for a serious business which
wants needs a successful website it is not enough to simply rely on the pinching and zooming features of Smartphones. Studies have shown that if a person has to pinch and scroll their way through a website they will spend far less time on that site than a properly optimised mobile website (more about that soon) or a ‘responsive’ website.
A web designer who can create a Responsive Design will ensure that the website navigation, screen-layout, text, images, video players and other elements will automatically re-arrange themselves to look their best on every device. All important elements such as your sales message, shopping cart, videos etc are shown in high resolution negating the need for your end user to pinch, zoom and grow frustrated with the whole experience.
A responsive website eliminates the need for extra time and money spent in creating and maintaining a separate mobile site version and another desktop site version.
Every day, the volume of devices, platforms, and browsers that must be able to access your website grows. Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.
Here are the 5 reasons why it is important that your business website is responsive;
1. Without proper mobile optimisation, your search engine ranking may be hit…..hard.
Google is making serious noises about penalising websites that are not properly optimised for mobile viewing. What do they mean by penalised? Well, they will hit you where it hurts – right in the rankings. That’s correct, if uncle Google decides to punish you for not having a properly optimised website for mobile devices, you may find that your website no longer appears on the first page or whichever page it is currently on. This possibility alone should persuade you to seriously consider upgrading your website to responsive design.
2. It Will Save You Time & Money
The view that commissioning a responsive website is expensive a myth. The facts are; the development of a responsive website can take slightly longer than it’s conventional counterpart, but the expenses incurred in having a separate website designed for mobile devices gets completely eliminated. This cuts development costs significantly.
In addition, a responsive design cuts time and effort required by you to maintain different versions of the same website (the desktop version and the mobile-version).
Investing in responsive website design is the smartest decision.
3. More people browse the Internet on mobile devices
About 50% of all Internet browsing currently takes place on mobile devices and this figure is expected to rise to 83% by 2015. If your website is not properly optimised for those potential buyers using their mobile devices then you are losing money.
4. User experience
Whilst it’s true that content is king and good search engine rankings are amongst the most important success metrics, it is the user experience that will determine whether your website reaches anywhere near its potential. A responsive web design solves this problem by providing an optimal user experience regardless of whether they use a desktop computer, tablet, smartphone, or a smart-TV.
Responsive websites are designed to be compatible with all devices and their operating systems. A responsive web design ensures that visitors have a consistent experience when viewing your website on any device – be that the iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones or the Windows OS and others. As a result, responsive website owners do not need to build versions of their website for every popular device platform which they expect their audience to use.
If you would like Media Gorilla to create a responsive website or just need some advice on how to go about making the switch, please contact us.