Heard of responsive web design? Simply put, a responsive website is one that looks good whatever device a viewer is using – be that your laptop, tablet, or phone.
Did you know that when mobile devices first became popular, it was customary to use different website designs for the same website, depending on the device being used? While this might have been easy enough for developers to do, the drawbacks included increased maintenance time and costs, having to develop SEO strategies for each new version, and having to design different sites depending on the model of mobile device being used. Thanks to Ethan Marcotte, the term ‘responsive design’ was coined in 2010 for website design that used flexible and fluid layouts able to adapt to almost any screen, removing the need to create multiple versions of the same website.
What goes into the development of a responsive website?
1. Fluid grids
This feature is about the layout of the website which uses relative sizing in percentages to ensure the website design fits the screen size of the device begin used.
2. Flexible images
This feature uses scaling and cropping so that images and media content load differently depending on the device.
3. Media queries
This feature supplies different styles to correctly display the page in line with the capabilities of the device.
So, why do you need a responsive website?
1. More and more people have mobile phones and devices (rather than traditional PCs) and that makes it increasingly important to have a website that can respond to different screen sizes and device capabilities.
2. Google prioritises mobile-friendly sites in its search rankings (SEO, anyone?) so it’s important to optimise your website for this reason. When it comes to brand awareness, online marketing is where it’s at!
3. Research shows that if a visitor lands on your mobile website and is frustrated, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website. However, if they have a positive experience, that visitor is 67% more likely to buy your product or service. So, if you want the business your website is designed to get, you’d better design it right.
4. Responsive design means only one website to manage. The more websites you have (in an attempt to cater for different devices), the more admin work you’re creating. A responsive website means you can streamline this process and, since responsive design works on screen size not device model, the website will adapt to any new devices being used.
All this goes to show that having a responsive website that works across multiple devices is a must for optimising the purpose of your website and ultimately achieving business success.
Not sure what shape your website is in? Chat to one of our Marketing Consultants! From our keyword audit service to our ignition™ retainer which deals with all things digital, we can help you make the best use of your website and other digital marketing tools.