What Exactly is Responsive Web Design, and Why is it Important?July 7, 2015
When it comes to web design and development, it’s come to the point where it would be nearly impossible to create a website version for every resolution out there based on specific technological devices. From PCs, to laptops, to smartphones and tablets, the constant evolution of such gadgets makes it highly impractical to keep up with all these resolutions.
That’s where a responsive design comes into the picture.
What is a Responsive Web Design?
A responsive web design is based on the size and orientation of the screen that the user is viewing the web page on. With the use of a mix of flexible layouts, grids, and images, the website will be able to automatically switch from one device to the next and accommodate the exact resolution and image size. Basically, a responsive design will allow the website to respond properly to the type of platform that the user is viewing the site on.
Rather than the user having to zoom in awkwardly in order to properly view the web page’s content, the web page will come up exactly the way it was intended to be shown. Reading the text and navigating the site is much easier without having to scroll, pan and resize. Basically, a responsive web design works by targeting the specific width of the user’s screen to decipher how much space is available and how the content should be displayed.
Why Should You Make the Switch?
There are a number of reasons why your site should include a responsive web design. First and foremost, you want your users to have a positive experience on your site. If they’re wasting their time scrolling, zooming and panning, they’ll be more likely to hit the back arrow, thereby increasing your bounce rate.
Google is also becoming aware of sites that feature a responsive web design. The search engine giant rewarding sites with a responsive web design with a higher page rank, which means sites without a responsive web design could be dinged. The reason? Using a single URL with a responsive design makes it easier for Google’s robots to crawl and index the websites. This also helps to reduce the on-page search engine optimization errors that may occur.
Having a responsive web design also helps make it easier to maintain your website over the long run. Rather than having to constantly update your site to accommodate newer and more innovative devices, a responsive design will automatically adjust the page according to the screen that the website is being viewed on. At the warp speed that new devices are being implemented these days, a responsive design just makes practical sense.
Consider the fact that there are 1.9 billion mobile internet users out there, and that people check their smartphones an average of 150 times per day. Wouldn’t you want to capitalize on these numbers?