Why Do You Need a Responsive Web Site?

Having a responsive site is going to be a critical choice when contemplating a new site or a re-design.

This article will discuss in detail what responsive design is and the major benefits.

What is Responsive Website Design (RWD)?

This type of web design geared at building sites to provide an optimal viewing experience regardless of device. A well planned RWD will look great on an iPhone, an iPad and your desktop. This is accomplished without using redirects to separate mobile pages, but rather using CSS3 styles that define the layout at different screen size.  A more in-depth explanation can be found here.

Main Benefits of a Responsive  Site

There are many great reasons to move your website to a responsive layout. Mashable has called 2013 “The Year of RWD.” read it here

Here are the top three reasons in no particular order:

  1. Mobile

    The amount of traffic that is moving (or at least starting) on a mobile device is astonishing. This includes smart phones and tablets that have exploded in the last few years. More and more people are consuming their online content via these devices.

  2. SEO

    Yes, having a RWD can help you with your search visibility. According to Google, they will show mobile friendly sites ahead of site not optimized for mobile visitors. Here’s what that are recommending to developers.

  3. Higher Conversions

    It only makes sense that if your content is optimized for the device your visitor is using the higher the conversion rates. Right? Of course! I have done extensive split testing on this and have found that easy to read, easy to navigate, easy to use mobile site will increase the success of your site. I have tested this on e-commerce as well as service based business and it’s a landslide victory for the new layouts.

Drawbacks… Yes there are a few

The main problem with this type design is with the design itself. A poorly thought out layout will not look very good across all devices. If your graphics are not perfectly optimized, then your images may appear fuzzy or “bitmapped” at different screen resolutions.

Another issues, somewhat related to image optimization is page load speed. We all know Google has come out and said this is a ranking factor, all be it a minor factor.

Costs More to design

Another issue, depending on your budget, can be cost. A high quality responsive design takes much more time to develop and requires a higher attention to detail. This will drive the price up. However, there are hundreds of great templates out their that can be purchased and customized at a fraction of the cost.

Finding a Great Designer for Your New RWD site

If you are not a designer, there are many options out there for you. Find a great designer is actually very easy these days. Doing quick search on the major engines will yield plenty of design firms for you to review. It really is as simple as reviewing their online portfolios. You need to do your due diligence first.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to have the best possible RWD within your budget range.

  • Obviously, visit the RWD the firm has created
  • View the site(s) on multiple devices – smartphone, tablet and desktop
  • Make sure it’s not re-direcing to a separate mobile version like: “m.example.com”. There is nothing wrong with this, but this is NOT responsive.
  • Does the site look good at all resolutions? Does the design “break”?
  • If everything else check off, the bottom line is does the design firms style fit yours? Do they have a wide range of site designs, or do all of their sites look similar?

The future as arrived, is your website ready?

The Future is Now
If you spend the time now to upgrade your site, it will reap the benefits for years to come. It’s never a bad idea to “future-proof” your website using the latest web standards.

In Conclusion, if your Website is not Responsive, It needs to be immediately!

It is more evident than ever to take drastic steps to improving your presence online. The fast growing mobile segment is only getting larger. Having a perfectly designed responsive site is like throwing a large fishing net out, you are much more likely to catch more sales.