Why Your Next Website Should Be Responsive

Why Your Next Website Should Be Responsive

What is Responsive Design?

It’s becoming more important to consider a responsive website design when building any new website.  These days more people are moving away from just using conventional desktop PC’s or laptops to access the web, users are now using many different devices to access the web on a daily basis including tablets, smartphones and even handheld gaming devices.

It’s also been predicted that mobile internet usage will overtake desktop usage by 2015, so it would be foolish not to make the most of your website.

Responsive web design is quickly becoming and industry standard and is a concept that blends CSS, CSS3 and JavaScript allowing web designers and developers to make the layout, images and functionality of the website more flexible and fluid across multiple devices.

In a nutshell, responsive design allows a website to adapt to the size of the users browser, whether it be a laptop, desktop tablet or mobile device.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Responsive Design

For example, a scenario might be you approach a web design agency to develop your new business website; you give them all the ideas and requirements for your new business website.

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Everything is going really well with project, you are then provided design concepts of the new website, they look great and fulfil all your requirement’s which you provided in the project brief, you are happy with what you have been given you feel this will represent your brand well online and help your company generate leads and sales.

This is then signed off and the new website is created. You then later realise that your website doesn’t look good on mobile devices or tablets, and with over 100 million smartphone units sold and mobile internet usage increasing by 183.43% in Europe since 2010, shouldn’t your website be accessible on all these devices?

So what now, what if someone wants to access your website from their iPad while relaxing watching TV, which most of us do these days. Well, you are going to have to either pay more money to have your website upgraded or have a mobile website created for you, or you could look and creating an app either way this is additional costs that you didn’t need to have.

SEO Benefits Of Responsive Design

Search engine optimization offers another great reason to consider responsive web design. Previously, to view a website on a mobile browser you would normally be redirected to an entirely new version of the website that is a mobile compatible.

This would be to accommodate the individual needs of the device that’s being used to access the website; for example, there would be a website for computers, one for tablets, and one for smartphones.

Each of the mobile websites would have their own unique URL, but would use the same content across all the sites. This could also cause problems with duplicate content, something that Google has recently clampdown on.

Google wants their users to be happy and have a positive browsing experience, this one of the reasons why they recommended using responsive web design as this makes it easier for them to crawl and index your websites content as it only needs to crawl the website once, opposed to crawling it multiple times, this also provides users with one URL, reducing loading times and making it easier for users to share, link and interact with your website.

A responsive website design will provide users with the best possible browsing experience while viewing your website. No longer will your business require multiple sites and from an SEO standpoint, Google loves this because there is no need for any redirects to get customers to the right version of the website.

Comments: 3

  • Shannon says:

    Thanks for including the SEO benefits of responsive design!

    Here’s a great one-minute video on responsive design:

  • Josh McCoy says:

    A study in 2011 revealed up to 93% of website could not be viewed properly on mobile devices.


    I think it’s interesting that Google is passing out more points to those that have responsive web design implemented. I believe that one day this will become mandatory to reach an acceptable level in the SERPS. Those that already know about these changes wil be ahead of the game.

    This goes to show that there is a huge need that most businesses just simply cannot see. I’ve written a very comprehensive article about this topic that can be found here: http://oursmartweb.com/the-case-for-mobile-web-design/

  • Harman Goei says:

    This is a very interesting suggestion you make about how the next website a web developer should make is a responsive one. As a student who is very interested in web development and creates websites for clients, I really love the idea of responsive web design, but it comes with a cost. The cost is that responsive websites should be mobile-first when designing any website, or else it would affect the site’s performance. If responsive web design is considered a last feature, then it might be possible that the responsive design would carry the burden of other features that were considered, such as a cool, interactive slider, a commenting system and placement of advertisements. While these other features might be plausible on a desktop site, when it comes down to a mobile version of the site, it might be not optimal due to the lack of responsiveness of those new features and thus hidden by CSS in the mobile version of the site. What’s worse is that the site might still load the unnecessary JavaScript required by those other features, which would affect the loading time of the site in the phone, as users hate in this article: http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/6117-users-still-hate-slow-sites-nielsen. Do you think existing sites should quickly adapt their site to a responsive web design? Or do you think new designs should be responsive?

    When responsiveness comes first in any design process, I believe it would be substantial and would provide SEO benefits. I do agree with you that there are so many websites that duplicate their information a mobile companion of a website, but the reason why they do that is because they did not consider responsiveness first in their layouts. For example, http://m.yelp.com Mobile Yelp was created because the current Yelp http://www.yelp.com is not responsive-friendly, and if responsiveness was considered first (mobile-first), then a mobile site would be unnecessary. That is why when I create websites, I secretly make them responsive, without letting the client know. It is because clients will eventually ask for some sort of responsiveness sooner or later, and when the time comes, I am fully prepared without having it looked like it was tacked on. Someday, I think responsive web design will become something to think about first as mobile internet usage continues to grow, and instead of thinking about responsive web design last, I think they will consider it first, as it provides good benefits as you highlighted.
    Harman Goei

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