A responsive web design is a site that is able to adapt to any screen size whether it be a full 27’ screen or a mobile phone. The website automatically reformats to give the end user the best possible viewing experience suited to their device.
So how important is this you ask? Very, it’s very important.
Back when I was a wee lad…
We all remember our first phone and mine was a Nokia 3210. It was a great bit of kit and did everything I ever wanted it to but then came along something that little bit more special. Do you remember WAP? That was the first step mobile phones took to becoming Internet enabled. It was like having the whole world in your hands; from checking bus times, the weather, or keeping track of football scores it was all there. Even though we had all this information in our hands the navigation was bad, really bad. Downloads were slow and don’t even mention the phone bill you received at the end of the month. Bottom line – Bad end user experience.
As mobile web browsing became popular businesses realised the need to cater for this. Many businesses went with 2 different web sites – one to be viewed on a desktop and one for mobile devices. Not only is this a nightmare to manage but also the content from the larger site had to be stripped down. This meant only the very basic content was loading meaning it was likely the user was missing out on vital information.
More and more phones were hitting the market and with this came another problem. Screen sizes and capabilities. What do you do? What size do you make your website? Thing could go from bad to worse. So fast-forward 15 years and now we have the solution we have been looking for; Responsive web design. It’s that easy…
So what are the big forces that are driving these changes?
Ofcom have reported that the UK is now a ‘smartphone society’. Smartphones have overtaken laptops as the users number one choice for surfing the Internet. At the same time we are spending over two hours online every day using our smartphones. Now with the help of 4G we are all changing our shopping habits, the way we bank and even the way we watch TV.
So for these reasons an up to date website which is mobile ready and responsive is a must for any business.
It’s a Google recommendation
Google are constantly updating its preference and the way it looks at websites. It doesn’t often give away any secrets but when it does we listen, and their latest recommendations is to have a responsive web design. In light of this, Google is now rewarding sites that are fully optimised for mobile platforms. With responsive web design now deemed best practice for industries, its importance will only continue to increase. It is no longer an option; it is an essential for any and all businesses.
Responsive web design benefits
Improved Google ranking
Google focuses on the user experience so therefore rank their search results based on which site will enhance the user experience no matter what device they use. Google offer priority rankings in searches for websites that provide well-written content and a well-designed user interface across multiple devices including mobile phones and tablets as this leads to a better user experience.
By using programmes such as Google Analytics it is clear to see that websites that are responsive in design keep users on their site longer. It also decreases the bounce rate and increases the conversion rate.
By having a website that is responsive to work across all devices means there is no need for a separate mobile website. This is a huge money saving factor as you’ll only have to pay to build, run and maintain one website. Time is another important factor here, one website to update, host, market and maintain. Saving time equals saving money.
So given all the above its vital to have a responsive functional website which works across all devices and platforms. Why not take the Google mobile friendly test now and see how your website stands up a mobile-friendly design.