One of the most recent buzzwords within the development world is “responsive website design”. You may be wondering what makes a website responsive and why it is important. The driving force behind the responsive design movement is the rapid rise and adaptation of mobile devices. In 2013, mobile traffic is expected to overtake desktop traffic. It is now imperative that websites are accessible, and easily used, on a mobile device. Prior to Responsive Design, businesses built separate versions of their website for mobile viewing. These alternate versions are often called “mobile microsites” which highlight only the most important information from the main site. A mobile microsite is still acceptable for those who aren’t quite ready for a full redesign of their website, but want to capture the mobile audience. Responsive design is a next generation website development technique that optimizes the viewing experience of a visitor regardless of the device they are utilizing to view a website. A responsively designed website automatically resizes graphics, images, text and more, in an aesthetic and engaging manner, to fit the size of the screen it is being displayed on. So what’s so great about responsive design?
- Promotes Continuity – Visitors may find your website on their desktop and want to continue their exploration by phone at a later time. With a responsive design, users aren’t thrown off by finding a completely different or more limited version of a website.
- Easy-to-Update – Keeping content fresh is important for any website! Outdated information is not only bad for your consumers, but also detrimental to search engine rankings. With a singular, responsive design, only one website needs to be updated.
- Google Prefers It – The Google Developers online resource openly states a preference for responsive design for building mobile-optimized websites. “Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design.” Read Googles recommendation for responsive website design.