Responsive Web Design

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design is a term that a lot of people hear, but unless you’re in the web development industry you might not know what it means. While that might seem okay at first, being ignorant of these web design standards might be hurting your business without you even knowing it!

Responsive Design is Flexibility

In short, responsive web design is a way to build websites so that they offer a consistent experience across all devices and screen sizes. This may sound like a simple thing to do, but a lot goes into it. Have you ever opened a website on your phone only to find the text was too small to read and the images were flowing off the page? That’s a site that failed to implement responsive web design. Responsiveness is more than just a trend in the design space; it’s a critical usability feature, and a lot of sites don’t have it or do it poorly. When done right, responsive web design will allow you to view a site on almost any device, regardless of screen size or orientation.

Important for more than Usability

While responsive web design allows people to see your site on their phone and tablet properly, there are other factors that underline its importance. Did you know search engines care about this too? Google checks your site when it ranks its position in the index and if it’s not mobile responsive, it might not show up as highly in search results. Google prioritizes sites that follow industry standard best practices and they don’t often warn you of this fact. If you don’t know if this could be affecting your search ranking, it’s important enough to stop and check. Even moving a small distance down in search results can cause you to lose hundreds or even thousands of potential customers!

So what if I don’t Optimize for Mobile?

Mobile users accounted for more than half of all internet traffic in 2017, and roughly half of all E-Commerce transactions. If your site isn’t responsive, you could be missing out on more than half your potential online customers! Worse than that, having a site that has no responsive design at all can degrade a user’s image of the company. That’s something that can be difficult if not impossible to regain. Since the world is trending towards more and more mobile devices, it’s smarter to try and optimize sooner rather than later. Even if the damage is already done, it’s never too late to try and turn your website’s appearance around.

I’ve already got a Mobile Friendly site! Why does this affect me?

There is a difference between mobile friendly sites and responsive design. Back in the early advent of mobile devices going online, many companies developed mobile friendly sites. These sites were distinctly different from the site and your main url would redirect users to that site if it detected they were on a mobile device. The issue with this is that it presents a different experience for users on different devices, and that’s not necessarily what users need or want. As responsive design became more common, Google started favoring responsive sites over mobile friendly sites. Not only does it prefer responsive over mobile friendly, having a separate mobile site may actually be hurting your site’s SEO. Outside of Google serving your users different experiences based on their device, it can have a negative impact on their use of the site. Many users expect a consistent experience regardless of how they use your site. In today’s modern internet, there’s no reason to fall short of that expectation.

Can I test if I’m using proper Responsive Design?

Sure you can! Just go here: Google’s Mobile Friendly Test

Did your site fail the test? If so, you might need some help making a more responsive site that works for all your users. Contact us today to learn how we can help you and your business!