Responsive design was one of 2012′s big buzzwords, and while many designers and (some) business owners now know what it is, the vast majority of websites – including new builds – do not feature responsive design. This makes sense, because responsive design requires designers and developers to learn new coding techniques and, generally speaking, responsive websites take longer to create, which can incur greater investment from businesses. However, there is a strong case for implementing responsive design for all websites moving forward; I present the top reasons why it’s time to switch to responsive design below.
Boston Globe uses responsive web design; lay-out to get changed according to the user’s computer screen resolution.
1. Responsive design is actually cheaper
While businesses might have great initial investment in hiring a qualified responsive designer who has to take the time to code and test websites across many different platforms and devices, the single code concept eliminates the need for separate templates for Android, iPhone and other devices. Thus, those who want to maintain a solid mobile presence (and that should be everyone) only need to pay for the development of one website, not two or three or more.
2. Responsive design is easier to maintain
Since responsive design features a single template, it’s far easier to maintain than other methods that support mobile platforms. This also makes it cheaper in the long term.
3. Responsive design features a better user experience and more conversions
Responsive design typically features faster page load times, easy navigation and easy-to-understand content layout. It also maintains a brand image across all devices. These result in a better user experience, which will ultimately result in more customer conversions.
4. Responsive design is better for search engine optimization
No page directs, a single URL for all content and fast page load times enhance search engine optimization efforts. What’s more, your inbounds for specific content will all point to the same URL, meaning your SEO content efforts will never be wasted or spread thin.
5. Responsive design creates design opportunity
Responsive design is here to stay, and even more companies will be scrambling to implement responsive design technology in 2013. This means there is increased opportunities for sales for graphic designers who know responsive design.
6. Google and Bing say so
Both Google and Microsoft’s Bing, collectively behind two of the largest browsers and search engines, endorse responsive design, according to this article by Craig Charley. If the powers that be agree, it would be wise to heed their advice.