If you currently have a website, or are planning to have one built in the near future, you really must consider getting on board the responsive bandwagon. People have been throwing around the term “responsive” for many years now and I’m sure most people didn’t have a clue what it meant. Don’t feel bad, you are part of the majority! However, if your website needs to perform well for your business or hobby to be successful then you really need to become familiar with everything responsive.
What is responsive design exactly? With the huge influx of smart phones and devices allowing consumers the ability to view websites on the go, websites built for laptops and desktop computers just don’t fit properly on those types of devices. Have you ever been to a website and been really frustrated because you had to zoom in to see what you wanted to read and then had to scroll around to see the rest of the content. This is an example of a website that was not built responsively. A responsive website “responds” to the size of the screen you are viewing it on. The content would then stack and a mobile friendly menu would appear so that you can easily navigate and find the information you are looking for on any device. This method of building websites is also fairly future proof because no matter what new IPhone Mini Max Pro cell phone or device is manufactured years from now, your website will respond and fit accordingly. If you want to see a few really cool examples of how content flows in a responsive website, check out this article by Froont.
Now you understand how it all works, but why is it so important? The best way to prove the importance of going responsive in 2015 is to show you the facts!
1. Mobile Takeover
In 2014, mobile internet viewing surpassed desktop usage in 2014 and continues to grow. Google reported recently that 77% of the searches on their search engine were performed on a mobile device while the person was at work or at home where there is typically a desktop computer available. Phones are just so much more accessible when you think of something. Right?!
2. User experience
If a user has a poor experience navigating a website on their phone, they are almost 50% less likely to return to that site again. This is especially true for sites that allow online purchases. Large companies are hiring professionals who specialize in user interaction so that their sites are completely user friendly no matter how you view them. This is becoming more and more important in the web design and development field. When you begin to research companies to re-design your website, make sure they are using up-to-date UX and UI techniques.
3. Mobile Site Vs. Responsive
Previously, a mobile site would be built separately from the main desktop site. This fragmentation allowed a mobile version of your website to be activated if you viewed it on a phone. If you look at the ways in which people are viewing websites today, you will see that more and more people are viewing websites on large TV screens and projectors. This is especially true for large corporations viewing websites and presentations in board meetings and such. Responsive web design allows a developer to build sites that contract and expand to fit just about any size screen. If the job as been done correctly, you should be able to view your site easily on a small smart phone all the way up to a 80″ TV screen.
4. Search Engine Optimization ( SEO )
In my professional opinion, this is the most important reason you need to take your website responsive in 2015! Google recently announced, at the end of 2014, that they would be scoring responsive websites higher in Google search results over those that aren’t. Starting April 21st, 2015 Googles search algorithms will change to include this new requirement. You may be tired of hearing all these rules from Google and think to yourself, “I don’t have to do everything Google says!” You certainly don’t have to listen to Google BUT Google is the top performer in consumer searches and if you aren’t optimizing your site to perform well against their standards then your business performance will suffer. They are the industry leader and if they say you need to be responsive…and you want people to find your business website over your competitors…then you need to follow their instructions. In fact, your site will be penalized in search results for not following 2015 web standards.
In the past you may have considered responsive web design to be something recommended but now it is something required. 2015 will definitely be known as the year of responsive web design. If you would like to know more about RWD, what it entails, how much it costs, or anything else feel free to contact us.