A responsive website changes the layout to offer an experience based on the device being used, especially ideal for mobile viewing.
A mobile responsive website includes design elements such as:
> Readable text without requiring zoom
> Adequate space for tap targets
> No horizontal scrolling
To ensure your website offers an experience tailored to handheld devices (without creating a separate app), consider why responsive design is important as a mobile solution.
Websites not optimized for all these smaller screens can experience a decline in their search engine rankings. This means that they are not getting found online.
Let’s get into the details about the why and how.
First of all…what the heck is mobile responsive design and why should you care?
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design (RWD) creates a system for a single site to react to the size of a user’s device—with one URL and one content source. A responsive website has a fluid and flexible layout which adjusts according to screen size.
The importance of responsive web design is that it offers an optimized browsing experience.
Basically, your website will look great and work well on a desktop (or laptop), a tablet, and a mobile phone’s browser.
In the past, developers built more than one site in order to accommodate different screen sizes. With the number of device types out there on the market today, this seems completely inefficient…right?
Now you can understand why responsive web design is not a shiny trend anymore, but more of a shift in the thinking behind building websites.
The number one benefit of a responsive layout is the guarantee that any user on any device will have the best experience possible on your website. And, the most consistent.
Website responsivenss is also a great way to refine the content on your site, making sure that people using a mobile device are only seeing the most essential information.
With the Google algorithm update, a responsive web design increases visibility on search engines—because it is mobile-friendly. A site with an effective mobile experience will show up in search results above one without.
Increase reach to customers and clients on smaller devices (tablets & smartphones)
A consistent experience that can increase lead generation, sales and conversions
Analytics, tracking, and reporting can all be in one place
Time and cost on-site content management is decreased
Stay ahead of the competition (even 44% of Fortune 500 companies are not mobile-ready at this time!)
Note, that there are two other methods by which to offer a mobile-friendly experience. The first is called Dynamic Serving, which uses the same URL but different HTML and CSS code. Pages recognize the device they are viewed on, and serve up the correct code.
The second method, is a separate mobile site altogether. When users visit on a mobile device, they are sent to a different mobile-specific URL.
As long as the correct steps are taken to optimize fully for mobile users, the most useful method really depends on any given situation. Figure out which works the best for your online presence, before diving into it.