Think about the last five times you accessed a web page. I would be willing to bet that all five websites were not viewed on a desktop computer. Chances are you’ve looked at websites across a wide range of devices in the past day or so, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops.

When you looked at these websites, were they easy to read? Did they scale to fit the size of the screen (be it smaller or larger than usual) that you were looking at? If so, you might have just figured all websites automatically adjust so they are beautiful, easy to use and effective no matter how large or small the device. But that’s not the case. If you have encountered one of these sites, you’ve experienced responsive web design.

By definition, responsive web design is the process of creating websites that 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 computers).

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is vital for businesses in 2014. As of May 2013, 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online. Mobile browsing is expected to outpace desktop-based access within three to five years. It’s important for your website to be accessible to these people, and it’s impossible to do so it if your website looks jumbled, tiny and impossible to read on an iPhone.

Responsive websites are flexible. They are not confined to a certain width or height, so they adapt to whatever device they are on, even if the user is switching between portrait and landscape on the device. Since a responsive website is based on the size of the screen and not on the actual device, they are also prepared for the future. As new tablets, phablets, phones, what-have-you are released, a responsive website will still look sharp.

There is a huge benefit to having one website that simply adapts rather than having multiple URLs and websites for the different mediums, the top one being SEO. Being able to focus all of your SEO efforts on one website rather than two or several is highly efficient and beneficial for your company. Having just one URL makes it easier for search engines to crawl your website.

If you have HubSpot, you might have heard lately about their new Content Optimization System (COS). HubSpot’s COS is an integrated website, blog and landing page system that is totally responsive. The COS can be totally personalized to each individual viewer that comes to your website, and your website will be designed specifically so that it will give your user exactly what it needs, no matter how they access your site. This technology is brand new – recently launched at the end of 2013.

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