What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is an approach in website design and development to make the website respond differently depending on the device it is being viewed on. This may be a desktop PC, a tablet or a mobile phone. It helps the user (usually your customer) have the best user experience possible. Here is an example of how our site looks when it’s viewed on different devices.

Responsive Web Design in Hitchin, Hertfordshire
  • The content adapts to the device: showing information on the desktop in 3 columns, but in a single column on a mobile device, so the user does not have to pinch and zoom into content.
  • The navigation adapts to show a menu button on a smaller device to save space.
  • Typically when viewing a website on a mobile device, the user will be on-the-go, not using a wifi connection. So it is important to send those devices smaller images, to improve web page load times.

The types of devices people are using to view websites and how they view them is continually changing; device manufacturers are bringing out new gadgets at a fast pace.  This makes it harder and harder to try and keep up, and clients cannot afford to be creating new websites each year, as this would be far to expensive and time consuming.

Some companies will also have different versions of a website, one for mobile and one for desktop. But this is not a good idea for the following reasons:

  • This can be expensive for a company, as they then have two websites to create, and keep up to date.
  • Annoying to a mobile user, as they may not see the same content that the desktop user would see on the full site.
  • It’s not good for Google search ranking
  • It’s not good for social sharing, you may share a mobile site to a friend who is not viewing it on a mobile device.
  • And much, much more.

This is where responsive web design comes into play. A company needs a website that will not only work on all the devices that are currently on the market, but also the ones which will be coming out the following year, and the responsive method of design helps to achieve that. Of course, we cannot see into the future and technology changes rapidly, but with responsive design you can help to safeguard against your site becoming obsolete.

Why do I need my website to be responsive?

In the long run you want your website to reach the widest audience possible, and the customers to have the good user experience on your website.  This will help bring you more visitors to the site, keep them there longer and make a decision to buy a product or service from you.

Another benefit of having a mobile-friendly website is that Google knows if a person is searching from a mobile device and therefore prioritises its search results, ranking mobile-optimised sites higher than those that are not.

Viewing a web page on a mobile and tablet device is growing like crazy, and in some cases it’s the only way people view the internet.  A BBC article in 2012 stated:

42% of these now say their smartphone is the most important device for accessing the internet, with 42% regularly using social networking sites and 51% using e-mail. Source: BBC

So if that’s the case,  what will the percentage be now. A newer survey showed:

Over half (53%) of UK adults are now media multi-tasking while watching TV on a weekly basis. Watching other content on a different device is one of these activities.  Source: Ofcom

If you still need some convincing look at the facts shown below

Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices. Source: Trinity Digital Marketing

Global mobile traffic now accounts for 15% of all Internet traffic. Source: Internet Trends 2013

61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience. Source: Latitude

60% of mobile shoppers use their smartphones while in a store, and another 50% while on their way to a store. Source: Deloitte Digital

90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV. Source: Google

Almost half a billion tablets will ship in 2013 and 2014 alone. Source: Gartner

Tablet users spend 50% more than PC users. Source: Adobe

25.85% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16% are opened on tablets. Source: Knotice

Mobile-based searches make up one quarter of all searches. Source: The Search Agency

95% of smartphone users have searched for local info. Source: Google

Don’t get left behind with a website that cannot be viewed in today’s expanding digital market,  you will lose sales and traffic on your website. Our philosophy is to only build websites which are responsive, so  get in touch with us to see how we can help you build a website that’s future-proof.

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