The importance of responsive web design

With the advent of the multi-device generation, there has been a dramatic shift in how websites are run. Once upon a time, all web designers needed to worry about was how their website looked in two or three browsers. Now, the multitude of different devices means that the issue of how a website looks needs to take into account screen size, device type, click vs. tap, whether a device supports flash and much more.

To get to grips with responsive design and how it can help your site, you need to understand what responsive design is.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive web design is a way to lay out and code a website which renders each navigation element of the site adjustable based on screen size. Text, images and videos all move into appropriate position based on how big the available viewing space is. Where once there would be a mobile and desktop version of the same site, with responsive design there only needs to be one site.

Why the need for Responsive Design for your site?

Saves Time and Money

With the need to produce and keep two sites up to date now gone, a responsive site will save on total development costs. The cost of a responsive site is higher but the total cost of ownership is less as there are fewer changes that need to be implemented as your single site can change appropriately no matter who is viewing it on any device.

More People on Mobile

More and more people are viewing sites from mobile devices. Anyone who is still trying to buy into the old way of doing things is just kidding themselves. Responsive is now becoming the industry standard, and website owners don’t want to be left behind.

Device Agnostic

There are so many different widths and lengths of screens when it comes to mobile devices. You can’t build one static site and hope that all of these devices can display your content in the best way possible. The best thing about a responsive site is that it doesn’t matter what device the user is looking at your site with, the site will always display in the best way possible.

User Experience

Responsive design is about providing the user with the best possible experience no matter what the device they may be using. It is about making it easier for a user to navigate, explore and understand so that they can get exactly what they want out of a site. If your site is difficult to view on mobile, it can instantly put a user off and send them to one of your competitors.

A responsive site is, for now, future proof. It doesn’t matter what kind of mobile phone Apple announces, or that the Samsung Note seems to be approaching the size of a HDTV, as your site will look good on all of them.

Author Gyles Seward

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