Responsive Design – What Is It and Why You Need It Anyway
Over the last few years, mobile web usage has been skyrocketing. In fact, according to an online survey, it has been observed that users tend to rely on mobile devices more compared to desktop systems (as you can see in the image below):
Because of the growing mobile usage, more and more business owners and individuals want to have a mobile version of their site. However, with new devices being released each day, creating a separate version of your website for each device doesn't make sense – and something that is impractical. So, does it mean that to drive traffic coming from one device, we'll have to experience the consequences of losing traffic from the other device? You can deal with such an issue, by adopting the responsive design approach.
Responsive design is no longer a new concept, in fact, almost every user who stays glued to the web world is aware of it. However, still many site owners seem befuddled and confused about what is responsive design, and why they need one for their website. If you're one of those users, then reading this post further will help you get answers to your queries.
Understanding What We Mean By “Responsive Design”
Chances are that you have stumbled upon mobile-friendly themes, but aren't sure about whether they feature responsive design or not? Remember that a mobile-ready theme might not be responsive in nature. A website having a responsive design – is one – that easily adapts itself to any device and screen sizes – that is being accessed and viewed on.
So, in case you're using a mobile theme means that your website won't be optimized for users who're not using mobile devices to access the website. In order to prevent such situation from happening, you'll need to create separate domains for your desktop, as well as, mobile users. But a responsive design provides an elegant and viable solution to overcome the problem of website accessibility – from mobile devices to desktop computers.
Why Your Site Need to Use Responsive Design Anyways?
There are several reasons that will compel you to adopt responsive design as part of your website development project. However, some of the major reasons that make responsive design a must-have for your website are:
Google Favor Responsiveness
Google's seriousness towards responsive design can be measured from the number of advancements it keeps on rolling out continuously, so as to adjust its search algorithm address the needs of both website owners, as well as, web surfers. And Google's new mobile-friendly algorithm update is another effort that the search engine giant has made – to cope up with the increasing use of mobile devices.
The new update will boost the search engine ranking of web pages that presents legible and useful experience on mobile devices. In contrary, sites that claim to be mobile-friendly, but are not actually optimized for mobile devices will have to suffer the consequence of significant decrease in their search rankings.
Wondering what responsive design has to do with the new Google mobile-friendly update? If you run a page having great content but is only accessible to desktop users, and you've another page that utilizes a responsive design, the latter will likely outrank the former (i.e. the second page will rank higher than the first).
Responsive Web Design Improves User Experience
Going by, “Google’s Think Insights” on mobile, it was concluded that any user who lands upon a mobile website and doesn't get exactly what they've looked for, there's a 61 percent chance that the user will leave your site and visit another site (presumably your competitor's site) instead. Furthermore, the study revealed that delivering a positive experience for your mobile viewers can result in a 67 percent increase in sales.
Since a responsive design adjusts to the website visitor's device screen, helping them navigate easily whether they're viewing your site using desktop or mobile, you can get assured outcome in terms of delivering a good user experience.
Help Expand Your Reach to a Wider Audience
As you may know, the mobile device usage is proliferating, not just in terms of subscribers, but in fact, with the varied types of devices being used by those subscribers. In simple words, new devices are being developed and launched quite frequently, and thus it becomes difficult to perceive how your website will be accessed in the coming years.
Wondering what you should do?
Obviously, your focus should be entirely on delivering optimal viewer's experience. And having a responsive design that adjusts according to the device while providing outstanding experience can help position your site for long-term success.
Responsive design has become a lot more important – significantly a necessity – than just any buzzword. It can help you address the viewers need to access your site on both mobile devices and desktop in the best possible manner. Reading this post will help you understand some of the major reasons behind why you should favor responsive design for your website.
Author Bio: Juana Steves is a professional web application developer working with Xicom Technologies - a renowned Software Development Company. You can contact her to hire software app developer to avail reliable and efficient software development services. Follow her on Twitter or Google+.