If your business depends on its website to any extent, and you haven’t made the switch to a responsive design by now, you’re at risk for losing a lot of business in 2014. The primary reason being the massive shift happening in how people browse the internet nowadays. During a study conducted at the end of 2013, Smart Insights discovered that of all web browsing just over 25% was done either on a Smartphone or Tablet. Signifying a potential 25% loss in business due to the sub-optimal experience many visitors encountered on web-pages that did not adjust for their particular device.
What’s more notable is that by 2015, mobile browsing is expected to surpass desktop use, making it imperative your website will be ready for use across any screen as soon as possible.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) Defined
Although it has been around since May of 2010, RWD is still a fairly new strategy to the majority of business owners. Most simply put, Responsive Design is: a website design that will adjust flawlessly to fit on a desktop, smartphone and tablet browser. If you’ve ever pulled open a website on a mobile device only to see the desktop version you understand it can be difficult to zoom in, navigate and ultimately achieve what you had intended by opening the web page in the first place.
How It Works
RWD aims to make the browsing experience seamless from one device to the next; therefore, retaining visitors no matter how they choose to access your site.</>
As you can see in the image above, the web-page’s content has re-sized and adjusted to fit within the confines of available space. The principles of RWD use “media queries” to figure out the resolution of the device it’s being served on, coupled with flexible images and fluid grids to then size everything correctly to fit on the screen.
In the past web designers would develop a desktop site, and then an entirely different mobile version to try and accommodate for all the different emerging devices. In November of 2012, the popular website Mashable was accessed by more than 2,500 different devices, a number that helped them declare 2013 to be the Year of Responsive Web Design.
The Top 5 Reasons To Adopt RWD
Beyond universal accessibility, there are several other benefits to having a site that can exist under one URL, the first being:
1. Google Highly Recommends It
Much like anything Google recommends, marketers and web professionals are usually keen with interest. In 2012, Google deemed it a best practice for smart-phone optimized websites. Having one URL and the same HTML allows Google to easily crawl and index your website within its algorithms. Leading into our next benefit:
2. One SEO Campaign
In order to promote your website within the search engines, you’ve probably managed an SEO campaign to help your website rank. With a Responsive Design you no longer have to worry about ranking two individual sites (Web and Mobile). Instead all of your efforts can now be concentrated towards one page. All of the links, all of the content will now be working twice as hard to ensure your page gets seen no matter what device it’s searched on. Talk about a good deal!
3. Positive User Experience
Without the satisfaction of your visitors, all of this talk of technique and strategy would be utterly pointless. RWD’s main purpose is to allow the users of your web-page to browse however they feel most comfortable. For if a potential customer arrives onto your page while browsing on a mobile device and feels the need to leave seconds later, you may have just lost a potential sale.
Research on mobile website usability shows that websites that are responsive and mobile-ready significantly improve user experience and satisfaction. By 2015 50% of visitors will be on a mobile device, be ready!
4. Adapting For The Future
The combination of media queries paired with fluid grids will give your web design sustainability in a time of rapidly changing technological trends. Users may keep updating their devices, but no matter how the screen sizes keep changing your website will be able to adapt which is an excellent feeling knowing your investing in a long-term design.
5. Saving Time And Money
While RWD aims to serve the satisfaction of your visitors, the bottom line is you’re tired of having to keep up with all the marketing trends when ultimately you just want to run a business. Cutting out dual websites, dual SEO campaigns and constant website maintenance will prove to be incredibly valuable both to your bank account and time management. It’s time to get back to what’s really important, so where do you sign up?
Much like hiring a web-designer there is no fixed cost when it comes to implementing RWD. If you have a simple brochure website for your business, modifications may cost as little as a few hundred. Perhaps you want to start from scratch, most web hosting domains have templates with RWD built right in with no experience necessary.
We recommend reading the book Implementing Responsive Web Design, if you”re serious about being on the forefront of RWD and learning how to build these sites yourself. Otherwise, get in touch with your preferred web designer and see how you can go about optimizing your site today. You will not regret it!
Image Source #1: http://poweredwebdev.com/tag/responsive-web-design-2/Image Source #2: http://www.cascadingmedia.com/responsive-web-design