It is some time since internet users only went online using a desktop or laptop computer. There are now an increasing number of internet users who access the web on tablets, notebooks, smart phones and other mobile devices. Previously, the need to keep a website presenting well on both computers and mobile devices was met by designing one site for computer users and another for mobile use. However, because of the large (and ever-growing) range of mobile devices in a multitude of sizes, this approach is no longer viable. Therefore, to meet the demand for mobile friendly websites, a different form of web design was required. In order to make the experience of a website user equally positive, in whatever device the site is accessed, responsive website design was developed.
What is Responsive Website Design?
Responsive website design enables a website to automatically respond to the particular device that the website visitor is using to access the site. Whatever the device, the website, including its images, text and the rest of its content, will be automatically adjusted to accommodate the screen size of the device, ensuring that the site presents equally well however it is accessed. The trend towards mobile internet is growing and it is predicted that mobile users will soon outnumber those accessing the web from a desktop location. It is therefore essential to ensure that mobile users are taken into consideration in a website’s design. There are several reasons why your website should be responsive.
Advantages of a Responsive Website
- Because the site is designed so that its content adapts to the size of the device’s screen, the entirety of the pages can be viewed without the user having to scroll from side to side, improving the user experience.
- Responsive sites are able to load more quickly on all types of device. If a site takes too long to load on a mobile device because it is non-responsive, it may result in the user giving up on the site visit altogether.
- Many website users use multiple devices. It can be irritating to have varying user experiences simply because a different device is being used. Responsive websites provide a seamless experience across all devices.
- As technologies continue to develop we are likely to see more and more new devices of different sizes. Responsive websites are capable of being viewed in all devices without the need for a major site redesign.
- Site visitors are far more likely to remain on (and re-visit) a site that has been designed to be optimised to whatever device they are using to access it.
- Sites that are not responsive are penalised by the search engines in response to mobile searches.
The advantages of having a responsive website over a non-responsive design and the ever increasing growth in mobile internet use combine to suggest that everyone who is considering building a website should make it a responsive one. This way, they can ensure that they have a site that provides a positive user experience, has more visitors, achieves a higher profile and, ultimately, generates increased business.