Responsive design can help you solve a lot of problems for your website. It will make your site mobile-friendly, improve the way it looks on devices with both large and small screens, and increase the amount of time that visitors spend on your site. It can also help you improve your rankings in search engines.
Read on to find out why responsive design is so important to your company’s website, and also read the responsive design pros and cons you should know about before investing in a redesign.
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What is responsive design?
First, here’s a quick explanation of responsive design and how it works. Essentially, responsive design is a way to put together a website so that it automatically scales its content and elements to match the screen size on which it is viewed. It keeps images from being larger than the screen width, and prevents visitors on mobile devices from needing to do extra work to read your content.
The ultimate goal of responsive design is to avoid the unnecessary resizing, scrolling, zooming, or panning that occurs with sites that have not been optimized for different devices. It is often very difficult to navigate these sites, and it may even cost you potential customers who become frustrated with trying to figure out how to do something.
Responsive website design also replaces the previous need to design a dedicated mobile website for smartphone users. Now, instead of designing multiple websites for different screen sizes, you can design just one website that scales up or down automatically to match the device it’s being viewed on.
Why should you invest in responsive design?
We live in a multi-screen society. Because of this, it’s important for your site to be viewable across as many devices as possible, because you never know what device someone will be using to view your website.
Responsive website stats suggest that it’s wise to appeal to both desktop and mobile viewers. The number of mobile viewers now outnumbers desktop, and this number will only continue to rise as global smartphone accessibility increases.
Additionally, in early 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would become a ranking factor in its search engine algorithms. This meant that sites that were mobile-friendly would potentially lose some ground in search engine results because they wouldn’t be delivering a good experience to mobile searchers and viewers.
In summary, the benefits of choosing responsive design for your website include:
- Cost effectiveness
- Improved user experience
- Search engine optimization gains
- Ease of management
Let’s take an in-depth look at each one of these 5 benefits so you can learn a little more about why you should invest in a responsive website.
1. Cost effectiveness
Maintaining separate sites for your mobile and non-mobile audiences can get expensive. By using responsive design, you can save money by eliminating the cost of paying for a mobile site. You will only need to invest in a single site design to appeal to all visitors and all devices.
When you have a website with responsive design, you can make changes quickly and easily. You do not need to worry about making changes on two websites. This flexibility is a huge advantage when you just want to make a quick design tweak or fix a typo on your site—you only have to do it once.
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3. Improved user experience
User experience is crucial to website owners. You want people to like your site, and you want it to be easy to use to convince them to come back. If someone visits your website on a mobile device, and it takes forever to load or your pictures do not have the proper resolution, it can make your company appear unprofessional.
No one wants to do business with a place that is unprofessional. But responsive design, which offers a much better user experience, can help convince people to give your company a chance. Because zooming and scrolling will be eliminated, content can be viewed quicker, and the overall impression that visitors have will be much more positive.
4. Search engine optimization gains
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy used by many companies to help boost themselves in Google’s search page rankings. The closer you are to the top, the better the chance potential customers will find you.
Responsive design can help with SEO because Google, as mentioned, gives preference to websites that are mobile-friendly. In combination with other SEO factors, responsiveness can help give you a big boost in search engine results.
5. Ease of management
Most businesses, especially smaller ones, don’t have a lot of time to update or refresh the way their website looks. But rather than having to hire a designer to handle every aspect of your website, responsive design allows you to make the changes yourself, quickly and easily.
Additionally, with just one website, other elements of your marketing will be much easier to manage. You’ll never have to wonder if you should link the mobile or desktop site on a social media update, or question whether or not all of your redirect links will be working to get the right visitors to the right site. Responsiveness takes much of the stress out of managing a business website.
Is responsive design overrated?
Of course, no marketing method or design type is perfect, and responsive design is no exception. There are a few cons to responsive design, including:
- Not every site looks great on every device
- You may want to offer different things to different users according to which device they use, and this can be somewhat difficult on responsive websites
- You could run into problems with resized advertisements or banner ads
- It may be difficult for you to create a responsive website on your own that is unique and accurate to your branding
Still, there are disadvantages to every kind of design, not just responsive. The overwhelming majority of responsive website statistics reinforce the idea that this is the best approach.
For example, 61 percent of mobile users say they will leave your website immediately if they cannot find what they are looking for, or if your website won’t load the information. So even despite the drawbacks, responsive design is what the overwhelming majority of Internet users prefer, because it makes the mobile browsing process that much easier.
Embrace responsive design for your website
If responsive website success stories don’t convince you to make the change to this way of designing, then let the cost and time savings convince you. Responsive design is an important part of any modern web strategy—and it should be part of yours, too.
If you’re ready to invest in a responsive website, check out our responsive design page and our web design calculator to learn more about how much a new design will cost, as well as some other additional benefits we didn’t cover in this article. You’re also more than welcome to contact the design experts at WebFX to get a free, completely customized quote making your site responsive!