What is Responsive Web Design?
Since 2013 more consumers access a business website on a mobile device before visiting the site on a laptop or desktop PC. In addition to being a Google Guideline having a mobile-optimized website that creates a seamless experience regardless of the viewer’s browser or mobile device is a necessity. Not the same as mobile design, responsive web design is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience across all mobile devices.
Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design technique that insists that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform, and orientation. A responsive website serves the exact same page to every visitor, but the design and layout of that page responds to the size of the visitor’s screen size. Every piece of content on a responsive website adapts to how it is being viewed, be it a desktop PC, a mobile phone, or even a TV.
Is Your Website Responsive?
If you are not sure if you have responsive web design we have an easy way for you to find out. Take a look at how your website looks on a variety of mobile devices in real time!
[ut_button color=”yellow” target=”_blank” link=”http://www.responsinator.com/” size=”medium” ]Test Your Site[/ut_button]
The Importance of Responsive Web Design for The Mobile Consumer
Responsive web design is an essential element of any effective online presence. By having a responsive website you are providing your end users with the best possible user experience and keep Google happy as well! Google’s Matt Cutts said: “Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices.” In other words, having separate mobile sites will reduce your page rank.
In our ever increasing mobile world not providing your consumer with the best possible mobile experience can have serious consequences for your brand. Here are some key statistics from a recent Google survey of 5388 smartphone and tablet users:
- Mobile devices overtook desktop PCs as the dominant internet platform in 2013
- Mobile users will surpass desktop users in 2014
- Mobile traffic now accounts for 16% of all web traffic
- 66% of smartphone and tablet users are frustrated with page load times on mobile devices
- 16% of smartphone and tablet users will abandon a site if it does not load fast
- 85% of adults think that a brand’s mobile website should be as good or batter than their desktop website
- 48% of users said that if a site did not work well on their smartphone, it made them feel like the company did not care about their business
- 69% of tablet users have shopped via their tablet device in the last 30 days
- 67% of users are more likely to make a purchase with a smartphone on a responsive website site than on a non-mobile optimized site
- 90% of people use multiple device screens sequentially
- 48% complained that websites were not optimized for mobile devices
But the key takeaway here is that while 73% of consumers access websites on their mobile devices only 20% of companies have mobile-optimized responsive websites!
Why You Need Responsive Web Design
In case you haven’t noticed we live in a mobile world. Chances are that you accessed the wen from a smartphone or tablet before you looked at your laptop or desktop PC this morning. The number of devices, platforms and browsers that your website needs to work on is growing at an exponential rate. And here are some more reasons why mobile matters:
- In 2013 iPad owners made the most online purchases (compared to owners of other devices)
- 1 in 10 online customers are shopping on a mobile device
- 25% of all American web users are mobile only (they don’t own a tablet or computer)
- 61% of smartphone users make local searches
- Americans will purchase 1 billion mobile devices in 2014
- 48% of all Americans own a smartphone
- 53% of all global searches are now made on mobile devices
The global number of mobile devices will more than double from 2009 to 2015! In the US there are almost 2 mobile devices per adult, and in many countries mobile devices are the only way to access the internet.
New devices with varying screen resolutions are cropping up regularly. It is essential for any business to have a website designed in such a way it adapts itself to multiple screen sizes for devices available today and in development for tomorrow. Responsive web design (RWD) represents a fundamental shift in how we build websites for decades to come.
Depending on what exactly we are doing we use a variety of mobile and desktop devices in sequence. In order to provide your end user with a seamless experience across all devices it is essential that your website delivers the same content across all devices.
The end result of all this is simply that your end user is more than twice as likely to visit your business website from a mobile device first. And if they do not have a great user experience visiting your site on their smartphone they are not very likely to visit the desktop version, are they? Furthermore, we are doing more on our mobile devices than ever before, even when we have a desktop PC available at the same time.
By not having a responsive web design for your business website you are basically telling the majority of your visitors that you are not interested in them, their needs, or their business. And that will make your mobile-friendly competitors very happy.
Key Benefits of Responsive Web Design
Optimized websites create more engagement. It is all about creating an appropriate, enjoyable, task-driven experience for your end user.
Google Loves It
Responsive web design adheres completely to Google’s recommended configuration for creating mobile-optimized websites, device-optimized content, clean link structure, and better user experience.
Search Engine Friendly
A responsive website runs on a single URL, which minimizes the the chances of on-page SEO errors and makes it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your site.
Easier To Manage
A responsive site with a single URL is far easier to manage than a non-responsive site that has many separate mobile and desktop URLs.
Enhanced User Experience
Responsive web design adapts to any device and screen size, offer your visitors a seamless and optimal experience that results into ranking your website higher in Google.
Cost and Time Effective
A responsive website has a single version of the source code that works on all devices. So maintenance costs and administration time is less than compared to a non-responsive website.
Responsive web design is 100% future proof, meaning it will look amazing and beautiful on future mobile devices such as smart watches, GoogleGlass, TVs, etc.
Decreased Bounce Rate
A responsive website doesn’t require users to zoom and scroll around to find the content they are looking for. This keeps them on your site longer, which leads to a decreased bounce rate.
Higher Conversions and Sales
Having mobile specific features and easily readable content, a responsive website helps you expand your audience by engaging new consumers. This will result in a higher conversion rate and increased sales.
How to Get a Responsive Web Design
Now that you are aware of the benefits of responsive web design you will want that for your business website as well. In most cases the fastest and easiest way to get a responsive website is to start with a new site. Very few existing site lend themselves to conversion, and that process usually ends up uncovering other shortcomings.By starting with a fresh design based on a responsive framework you not only avoid any potential existing deficiencies, you also take advantage of the latest coding and usability standards.
Many commercially available themes, such as WordPress and SquareSpace, are based on responsive, mobile-optimized frameworks. If you are reasonable computer savvy you can build your own basic business website; if you use Microsoft Word and upload images to Facebook most user interfaces will seem very familiar. But we need to caution you; things can get tricky very fast and you may well end up way over your head. If you have specific requirements or a unique vision we highly recommend that you have a professional web designer help you. If you don’t know one here is our 10 Step Guide to Hiring a Web Designer.
Of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble and include us in your consideration process. We are experts at responsive web design. From highly customized corporate sites, to responsive e-Commerce websites to small business websites and personal blogs we work directly with the client to prepare them for the ever increasingly social, mobile and local consumer. Why not get started by requesting your free responsive web design estimate?
And if you are still not sure about responsive web design don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way for your business to get a responsive web design in the most time and cost effective way. That is one of our specialties, after all!