With mobile devices increasing in popularity, it has become imperative for any business to ensure their website is accessible by smart phones and tablets alike.
Studies show that the sale of PCs has begun to decline (from 2011 to 2012), for the first time since 2001. This is a result of increasing demand for smart phones and tablet devices by tech-savvy consumers.
As a result, when you approach a web design company, it is recommended that you opt for a website that caters to all devices.
Enter Responsive web design!
This phenomenon has revolutionised the look and feel of websites across all platforms. Responsive web design is an awesome technique that allows a user to experience a website according to the behaviour, desire and environment based on the platform (mobile/tablet/PC), screen size and orientation.
What is responsive web design? Time to get a bit “techie” (just the next few lines, we promise). This type of web design renders a website to be responsive in nature with multiple fluid grid layouts. It is adaptive as it consists of multiple layouts and a mixed approach is followed with a fixed width for small and medium screens, and a fluid width for smaller screens. In other words the website is built in such a way that it’s fluid and can adapt according to the size of any screen, without sacrificing functionality.
One of the main reasons for the emergence of responsive web design is best defined by Jeffrey Veen, CEO and co-founder of Typekit:
“Day by day, the number of devices, platforms, and browsers that need to work with your site grows. Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.”
Pros of Responsive Web Design
Provides a better user experience as optimum visual experience can be obtained on whatever the device is used
Separate web content does not need to be instilled to a mobile website which makes content consistent
Google too has shown preference to responsive web designs over mobile web design for mobile sites and it might lead to better rankings in the future
It lessens the time and human effort spent on managing 2 different platforms
Cons of Responsive Web Design
Decreases the ability of specifically targeting mobile users through natural search
Initial cost of development and designing of the website is comparatively higher than regular websites
Not every desktop browser supports the design
The loading time is potentially higher on smaller screens if not implemented correctly
With Australia being one of the leading nations for smart phone adoption it is a fact that most of your target audience (more than 50%) are using smart phones to browse, socialise and shop. If your website is not compatible to these changing platforms, you stand to lose many potential customers to your competitor who tends to their needs. Responsive web design will greatly aid in increasing your traffic via mobile.
To get an in-depth look at the “why’s” and the “what’s” of responsive web design, check out this infographic.
We at solomoIT think that the pros outweigh the cons and it provides an obvious advantage over your competitors’ websites which may not be responsive. When creating a responsive web design several areas needs to be considered such as the flexibility of images, fluid grids, content column etc. It is best that professional advice is obtained before undergoing the transition to a responsive website.