January 29, 2014

The benefits of responsive web design

Written By Martin Sandhu
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Mobile apps aren’t for every business, but every business needs a mobile presence. Websites are no longer exclusive to desktop, the rapid increase in mobile device use and improved mobile data means more and more web traffic is being driven from smartphones and tablets.

Responsive web design reacts to the screen size of the individual user, so rather than designing multiple websites for multiple devices, one website fits all – quite literally. It’s the perfect option for businesses that aren’t suited to mobile apps, yet still see a large amount of traffic to their website.

It sounds simple enough, but there are many benefits to a responsive website:

One website

Responsive design means you only need one site, rather than one for desktop, one for mobile, one for tablets etc. So updates and content changes only need to be done once and you’ll only need one content management system. This saves businesses both time and money and ensures your website is the same, regardless of the device it is being accessed from.

User experience

In the connected world users are demanding, they expect things to work immediately and to work well. By using a responsive design every users gets a great experience, whether they are sat at a desktop PC or on the train with their tablet.

Branding

No one can deny the importance of good branding, however in order to make it as effective as possible it needs to be consistent. If someone uses your website on a smartphone, they want the experience to be the same as when they used a desktop to access it and so does your business.

SEO

Not only is one site much easier to optimise than multiple sites, but Google likes responsive design – and we all know what that means! The search giant sees responsive as best practice for websites as it makes it much easier to share information across devices. Not only is that singular presence easier to manage from the businesses end, it also makes it easier for users to share you site as the URLs remain the same on each device.

Currently only around 3% of websites are optimised for mobile using responsive design, but with some initial thought into the design and how the responsive factor will affect aspects of usage, it’s a must in order for businesses to achieve a mobile presence.