When you're thinking about how your website appears to your audience, once you only had to consider how it looked on a desktop screen. Now, with such a wide range of devices having internet access, you have to think about laptops, tablets, smartphones and television screens; all of which have varying dimensions and resolutions. How do you ensure that your website looks and performs at its best on each of these platforms? The answer is responsive design.
Responsive design is not a new thing – it's actually been around for a few years, but it really took off in 2012. And with new devices popping up all the time, its popularity looks set to increase in 2013.
What is responsive design?
In case you don't know, responsive design means that a website will automatically adapt itself to the device that it is being viewed on. This means that whether your visitors are accessing your site via laptop, PC, tablet or smartphone, you can be assured that they are getting the best experience possible. No slow-loading images, no content moving out of place, no too-small text that is impossible to read – instead, responsive design means that your website will perform consistently well across each platform.
A different way of looking at responsive design is considering the difference between dogs and cats (stay with me here!). Dogs are more obedient and behave as the owner wants them to, whereas cats are independent and tend to do their own thing. If you apply this to your website, a responsive design offers a more intuitive way of browsing for your visitors – your website will adapt itself to how the user wants it to work. A non-responsive design doesn't offer this.
No wonder so many companies are switching to this way of designing their websites. Here are some of the other benefits that responsive design offers:
- One website for every platform...you will only have one site to manage, meaning you'll only have to upload content or edit any part of your website once, instead of having to change multiple sites for each device. A more consistent experience for your customers, and a simpler way of working for you.
- Saves you time and money...building (not to mention updating and maintaining) a website for each device is undoubtedly costly and time-consuming. Having only one website to concentrate on frees up resources for you to reinvest in your business, and will balance out the initial cost of investing in a responsive design website.
- Boost conversion rates...as interaction with your site will be easier for all of your customers, you should notice a boost in your sales or the amount of business you receive.
- Better for SEO...having a single set of URLs for all of your website traffic is considered better than splitting URLs between a standard site and a mobile site. This is because it merges your traffic rates to one URL, which will have a positive effect on your site's credibility and search engine ranking.
- Future-friendly...with mobile browsing predicted to overtake desktop browsing by 2015, having a website that is compatible with all of these devices is essential. A website that uses responsive design means that your site will be prepared for the changes in the way we use the internet.
- Gives you an edge over your competitors...if your rivals have yet to switch to responsive design, you now have the perfect opportunity to deliver a superior web experience.
While it is difficult to predict what will happen in the constantly changing world of technology, one thing's for sure; mobile internet isn't going anywhere any time soon, so it makes sense for you to adapt to the ways that your visitors are accessing your website. With responsive design, you can be assured that your website is flexible enough to cope with the devices of the future.
Want more information on responsive design and what it can do for you? Don't be shy; we're always happy to help! Call us on 01978 262819 or 01244 459243 for more info.