What Is Responsive Web Design, and Why Does It Matter?
Web design used to be so simple. All you had to do was make sure your website could be viewed properly on a Mac and a PC, and you were set. Now websites are viewed on all kinds of devices, from smartphones to big LED screens, and everything in between. If you want to make sure your current and potential customers can properly view, navigate, and use your website, you need to make sure it incorporates responsive web design.
So just what is responsive web design (RWD)? It’s an approach to design that focuses on creating an optimal viewing experience for the user on a wide variety of devices. Without getting into technical specific, the code used adapts the website layout to the viewing environment. In the “old” days of the Internet, when desktops and mobile phones were the only devices developers had to worry about, they simply built a separate website design for each device. Now, with all the web-capable devices available, creating a separate design for each device is just not practical – thus the need for responsive web design.
Okay, so responsive web design makes things a bit easier for web developers – what about you as a small business owner? How will it benefit your business? For one thing, it’ll save you some money, since you won’t need to create more than one version of your website. And because you’re only building one website, search engine optimization is easier and less time-consuming than it would be if you had to do it for multiple websites.
In regards to your business, however, probably the biggest benefit of incorporating responsive web design is that it provides a better user experience for visitors to your website. They’ll see content that’s optimized for their devices, which means they’ll be more likely to stick around and visit again in the future. In fact, a recent survey by Compuware found that 40% of users will close a poorly optimized mobile website and switch to a competitor’s, and nearly 60% would not recommend a business that provides a bad user experience on its mobile site. Lost website visitors often mean lost sales and leads – responsive web design can be the key to retaining them.
Responsive web design is more than just a fad – it’s becoming standard practice. If you want to reach your customers no matter what device they use, it’s a must, so make sure you’ve got a web developer that’s up to speed on responsive web design. If you don’t, you could end up with a very lonely website.