Nowadays, the user’s journey across the internet is a complicated one. People hop between devices accessing the web from smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, TVs, and even smartwatches. To provide the most satisfying user experience, you have to make sure that your website looks equally good on screens of all shapes and sizes. That’s why it is important to have a website with responsive design.
It’s true that the majority of online traffic is coming for mobile but desktop is still a close second, and a responsive design will help you get the best of both worlds. It maintains the integrity of your website content but adapts it to render fittingly according to the specifics of different devices, all the while making it more user-friendly.
But what does responsive design actually mean?
What Is a Responsive Design?
A responsive design simply means that a single website adjusts to any screen size, whether it be a phone, tablet or desktop. It removes the need to build and maintain two different versions of your site i.e. one for desktop and one for mobile devices.
A responsively designed site will adjust to the screen it is being viewed on. And as a result, will look incredible on any mobile phone, tablet, and desktop. This way, when using a smartphone or other small-screen device, the user doesn’t have to scroll horizontally to reveal hidden content that is not displaying on the screen, or to double-tap or pinch in order to zoom the page. The layouts change to match the screen size and adapt for better viewing overall.
Here are some of the top reasons why a responsive website is better than building a mobile version of your existing one:
- Less time-consuming.
- You update a single site and only have to maintain once site opposed to 2.
- You optimize a single site for search engines
- Saves loading time (loads 10 times faster than a mobile site)
- Works effectively on different devices
- All pages are constantly accessible
A Responsively designed website also makes a website more user-friendly overall because they are easier for clients to interact with, share, and link to. Having separate desktop and mobile versions can make these processes more complicated, and can also lead to dead links which aren’t helpful for SEO optimisation. These issues can put off visitors driving them away and in the worst case lead to them choosing your competitors that do have a hassle-free and user-friendly websites.
What are the indexing advantages for mobile first designed websites?
Simply put, a responsively designed site instantly makes your website mobile-friendly. Google’s Mobile-First Indexing has been gradually taking over the web in the past few years and is now becoming the clear standard for all websites on the net. Since responsive websites answer the requirements for the update, no changes are necessary and no shifts in performance should occur. That’s one of the reasons Google recommends using a responsive website, over a stand-alone mobile version.
Another plus side for going mobile first and getting a responsive design is that responsive sites have one URL and a similar HTML, which makes it easier for Google to index, crawl, and organize content. This will help boost your SEO and in turn should increase visitors to your site.
How Does Responsive Design Work?
To make a website responsive, it has to have some additional code that makes your site layouts fluid, and adaptable to any screen size. This is how the same version of the website is served to users on different devices, only the content is transformed and rearranged for better viewability on mobiles and tablets.
If you are building a new website and want to make it responsive, it’s advisable to take the mobile-first approach. This means that you should set up the original layouts to look good on a small screen and once you are finished with the design, you should add the meta viewport tag, CSS media queries, and breakpoints, to scale it up when viewed on a big screen device.
Most WordPress sites should be responsive, since there is a good chance the themes are responsive. An old theme and web framework can however still look terrible on a WordPress site so it’s always best to keep your site and theme updated to the latest version. You can check a site by simply testing it on different devices. If you find out your website theme is not responsive, you should consider changing it to a more up-to-date one. This will improve the overall user experience on your website and can also help you to improve your ranking in organic search engine results.
What are the Benefits of Responsive Design?
Basically responsively designed sites provide a better mobile experience for users and it improves the general UX on all pages.
It’s estimated that over 4.5 billion users now prefer to use mobile devices to browse the internet. So if your site isn’t a responsive designed on, you might be drive away a number of those 4.5 billion online users. Ask yourself the question can I afford to lose revenue and stay behind my competition? Not only this but a responsive design is basically becoming one of the requirements for a top ranking in SERPs.
A responsive website can also help boost your online sales by making your content more sharable and thus bring even more potential customers to your site. People nowadays spend an average of 145 minutes or more a day on social media platforms, and most of this browsing they do on their phones. If you are maintaining an active social media presence, and we don’t see why you wouldn’t be, this means social networks generate constant activity to your pages from mobile devices. A slow and outdated-looking website can damage your reputation and make all these visitors question your reliability.