If you’re looking to have a new website build or an older site updated, you’ve no doubt seen the term “responsive web design” more than once.
In this article, I explain what this term actually means and why responsive design is so important.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design describes an approach to website building in which sites look good, function properly, and are easy to navigate no matter what type of device the visitor is using.
These days, people access the web on a variety of devices including mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers, and desktop computers. And, even within these device types, screen sizes vary considerably.
A fully responsive website checks the size of the screen on the device that the visitor is using before the webpage loads and “responds” accordingly. So, the site layout and elements such as navigation menus, images, and fonts will automatically adjust in a way that provides an optimal viewing experience for visitors regardless of what device they are using.
And these responsive changes happen in the background without visitors needing to do anything.
Why is Responsive Design So Important?
You might have a website that looks great on a laptop or desktop computer. But on a mobile phone or tablet, the text may appear very small and be very difficult to read. Images may not display properly or be way too big for the screen. The site navigation menu may be very hard to use. Contact Forms and other important site elements may not load or display correctly. All of this boils down to a poor user experience for your site’s mobile visitors. And, that is far less than ideal.
Well over 50% of your website visitors are likely to be using mobile phones or tablets. So, if your website provides a poor user experience for these mobile visitors they will be considerably less likely to become customers. They may leave your site without finding the information they were seeking. Such an experience can leave visitors with a negative first impression of your brand.
Moreover, if your website is not mobile friendly, Google will rank it lower in mobile search results. Which means that less people may find your site and buy your products or services.
So, Make Sure That Your Website is Responsive
If you are having a new website built for your business, ensure that your web designer uses a responsive design. I ensure that every website I build is responsive and mobile friendly.
If you have an older website that does not work well on smaller screens, then it’s probably time for a site update. You can test your website for mobile friendliness via Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Page.