On this page, you’ll learn what responsive website design is, why it’s important, and what the top responsive design agencies often offer you. You’ll also learn why we think WebFX is the best responsive web design company out there, and how we can help you build a great site that converts well on both mobile devices and desktops.
Call 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about responsive design services from WebFX, or keep reading to learn more about choosing the agency that's right for your business.
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What is responsive web design?
Responsive website design first became known around 2010. With the increased usage of smartphones to access the internet, and tablets like the iPad starting to be used very frequently, there was a need to develop technology that would display website content properly across these devices.
For some time before this, mobile sites – separate versions of websites designed to load when a device was recognized as a cell phone or tablet – were used frequently. However, mobile websites had to be designed separately, which added more time to development, and there was often a struggle to display the same kind of content on mobile and desktop sites without there being a huge disconnect in design. Mobile sites also only loaded after the device sent a specific signal to the server, which increased the amount of time it took to successfully access a site. This led to the need for something better.
Unlike mobile sites, responsive design is not a separate version of a website that only loads on smartphones or tablets. Instead, a responsive website requires one single design. Specific rules in the CSS and HTML – the code used to determine how the site appears – adjust the way the website loads based on the restrictions of the device and screen size. But this requires just one site to be built, and ensures that users see the same design and content, and have the same experience, no matter how they are accessing the website.
Major sites began opting for responsive design starting in 2011 and 2012, and the trend is continuing to grow today. Responsive design has become an important factor for businesses that have an online presence, and can be very helpful in a number of distinct ways.
Why is responsive design important?
As you might have already guessed, responsive design is very important because it enables website owners to cut back on the amount of development they need to make. If they are managing both a desktop site and a mobile site, they are essentially managing two separate websites. If there is a change on one, it also needs to be made on another. Responsive sites only need one update or change to reflect the right content.
Responsive design is also important because of the increasing number of people who choose to surf the internet, do research, and make purchases from their mobile devices. If someone can easily and quickly access your website from their phone, they are more likely to stay on your site. If your site doesn’t load quickly on mobile, or requires a lot of pinch-to-zoom to display content, your visitor may leave right away.
Google recommends the usage of responsive design for the following reasons:
- With responsive design, there is only one URL for every piece of content or page out there, rather than multiple URLs
- Responsive design cuts back on the amount of duplicate content you will be making available
- Loading time will be reduced when compared to mobile websites, since the browser does not have to detect your device and change the “version” you see
- Google only needs to crawl your website once to index it, rather than multiple times for each version, and this can keep your search engine presence “fresh”
As you can see, a responsive website is now considered very important for websites that have users frequently visiting from mobile devices. It may even be more important for anyone who sells products in an ecommerce store, or gathers leads from their site.
What are the benefits of a responsive website?
With the amount of people who access the internet from mobile devices steadily growing, responsive websites have one big advantage: they can help lower bounce rates, sometimes in a very big way. As we mentioned earlier, users who have to wait a long time for your site to load, or can’t easily perform simple tasks on it, may leave without converting. But responsive design can help cut back on the amount of people who visit your site and quickly leave, or “bounce.”
Since bounce rates are typically lower on responsive websites, this means that there is often a rise in conversion rates. Ecommerce stores that make browsing and buying easier on mobile enjoy higher purchase rates. This means that an ecommerce store investing in responsive design might see a return on their investment very, very quickly if their mobile purchase rates rise!
Mobile traffic is only going to continue increasing as more and more users choose to perform daily tasks on their phones or tablets. By creating a responsive website now, you are ahead of the game. Many retailers or businesses in your industry probably do not have a responsive site, so by having one created now, you will have an advantage. This is an opportunity for you to not only grow your sales, but perhaps outclass your competition!
Also, as we already indicated and Google outlined in the bullet points above, responsive design cuts back on a lot of hassle from the business side. It reduces the amount of time it takes to launch new content, cuts back on duplicate content and multiple URLs, and reduces loading time and strain on your server. So while there are many user benefits to your users or customers, there are also many benefits to you and your staff.
How much does a responsive website cost?
The cost of a responsive website varies based on a number of factors. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to provide one set cost for these services. So if you are looking for the cost of a newly designed responsive site, you will need to consider a number of things.
The best situation that you can be in with responsive design is a new business that is looking to have a brand new website designed. If you are in this situation, a responsive design agency can build a brand new website that has responsive technology integrated from the very start. This means that you won’t need to redevelop anything, and that the cost will be relatively low.
If you are already considering a website redesign, and are considering including responsive design, this is also a good situation to be in. When your website is redesigned, it can include the code needed to make it responsive. Redesigns can be potentially costly, but if you are already planning on a new look and feel, it may make sense for you to include the addition of responsive in your plan.
If you have an existing website and just want to “make it responsive,” you may be out of luck. Depending on how your website and its look and feel were originally constructed, it may be very difficult to change to responsive design without heavily altering your code, or even the way your website looks. To adapt to the need for responsive web design, you may need to have your website redesigned, or even switch to a new CMS (content management system). However, don’t let this scare you away: the jump to responsive design is worth the investment, and even your non-mobile users will appreciate your new, streamlined, easy to use website. So there are advantages to taking this leap.
As indicated, we unfortunately can’t provide a set cost for responsive website design. But you may find that it is less than you expect, depending on what stage of development you are at.
How do I find the best responsive web design company?
It’s hard to say who the best responsive web design company is. There are many firms and agencies who specialize in responsive design, and produce great looking websites. However, there are a few criteria you should keep in mind when you are looking for a company to create a responsive site for your business.
First, look for a company that has a portfolio of responsive design on their website. Reputable agencies will definitely show off their work that they have done, and provide either images of or links to their sites they have developed. Visit a few of these sites on your computer, then on a tablet or phone. Do you like the way they look? Do they load quickly, and display the same content on both devices? Are they both functional and attractive?
Next, browse each web design company’s own site to get a feel for their work and how they present themselves. If their own website isn’t responsive, or at least optimized for mobile, that may be a good indication that they are not a top responsive design company. Look around each agency’s site for pricing, information on what their responsive design services include, or informative pages like the one you are reading right now.
Finally, you will probably want to get in touch with the top contenders on your list and ask for an evaluation of your existing site, if you have one, as well as a quote for responsive design. As we mentioned, quotes for responsive sites usually need to be given on a case by case basis. However, a reputable agency will be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss your needs and expectations before providing a quote.
WebFX is a top responsive design company
We hope you enjoyed learning some more about responsive website design and why it is important. Thanks for reading!
If you are ready to take your website into the 21st century, WebFX is here to help. Our responsive website design services have made us one of the best companies in the industry, and we would be more than happy to create an attractive, mobile-friendly responsive site or ecommerce store for you. Give us a call at 888-601-5359 or request a quote today to learn more.