Responsive Web Design - What It Is / Why You Need It

Have you ever heard the word “responsive” when describing a website? What about “mobile-optimized?” What does this gibberish mean?

A responsive website is the ultimate goal - to have one site that is easy to use on any device/screen size. What do I mean by this?


How to tell if a website is responsive

Open a web page on your desktop, grab one side of the window, and slowly drag it in. A normal website will just have its content cut off. A responsive website will adapt to the screen size - content will shift into columns, the navigation bar will collapse, etc. A good example of a responsive website is Mashable.

You know those web pages that you visit on mobile/tablet that require you to zoom and scroll? Yeah, those aren't responsive. How annoying!

A mobile-optimized site can be responsive, but some people can refer to a mobile-optimized site as a secondary one that is operated alongside a main website (e.g. created after the main website is already up). These are decent temporary solutions if done well. 

A mobile-specific site. Can be costly, annoying, and time-consuming, as now a business must manage two different websites.

A mobile-specific site. Can be costly, annoying, and time-consuming, as now a business must manage two different websites.

Why You Need a Responsive Site

If your business is doing fine, and people are already buying, and your website doesn't look too bad, what’s the point?

  • Your website is part of your brand. For potential new customers, it’s their first impression of you, and first impressions matter.

  • They should find the website easy to use and ideally visually-appealing. It doesn’t matter if your site is amazing on a desktop if that’s the only way people can see it.

  • People browse on all kinds of devices. According to DigitalBuzzBlog, "50% of mobile phone users use their mobile phone as their primary internet source." If your website isn’t responsive, you may be alienating all of these visitors, losing you many potential customers or decreasing brand loyalty.

  • You will rank higher on Google. Google now ranks responsive websites higher in their search rankings than those that aren’t. Other search engines will follow.

In short - don’t ruin your chances of capturing leads, making sales, or risk hurting customer loyalty by having your website - your main hub to the outside world - be hard to access.

What’s Next?

Get further information on how a responsive website can give your business a competitive advantage and prepare it for the future of online marketing.  Future-proof your site.

What do you think of this new way of having "one website for all devices" and - comment or share below with your thoughts or some of your favorite responsive sites!