Why Responsive Web Design Is a Necessity and not a Luxury in 2019
In 2019, there are now around 4 billion people using the internet. Compare that with the 361 million in 2000 and it’s clear how important a role the internet plays in our lives. This year 52.2% of website traffic from a worldwide perspective has been processed through mobile devices; showing the importance of having a responsive web design on mobile phones with the majority of traffic coming from this source.
With new technology comes new ways to access the internet, so, our websites must evolve to respond accordingly, ensuring a great user experience for all. To do this, we suggest you go responsive.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
The purpose of responsive design is to have one site, but with different elements that respond differently when viewed on devices of different sizes.
Let’s take a traditional “fixed” website. When viewed on a desktop computer, for instance, the website might show three columns. But when you view that same layout on a smaller tablet, it might force you to scroll horizontally, something users don’t like. Or elements might be hidden from view or look distorted. The impact is also complicated by the fact that many tablets can be viewed either in portrait orientation or turned sideways for landscape view.
On a tiny smartphone screen, websites can be even more challenging to see. Large images may “break” the layout. Sites can be slow to load on smartphones if they are graphics heavy.
However, if a site uses responsive design, the tablet version might automatically adjust to display just two columns. That way, the content is readable and easy to navigate. On a smartphone, the content might appear as a single column, perhaps stacked vertically. Or possibly the user would have the ability to swipe over to view other columns. Images will resize instead of distorting the layout or getting cut off.
This is by no means a new concept. Back in 2015, mtc wrote a blog on this topic detailing the benefits a responsive design would bring to you and your business. To recap: responsive design allows your site to respond and resize to whatever device your customer is using.
Fast forward four years and responsive design is even more important than ever before!
Why Do You Need a Responsive Site?
You Will Rank Better in Search Engine Results
When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, Google is king. After all, approximately 70% of all search traffic comes through them with Google taking up 74.54% of net share in 2017. So, it should be no surprise to learn that what they say goes. With responsive web design, your site will have just one URL which will make it easier for Google to crawl and index your site. This also reduces the risk of duplicate content being created – an issue which regularly affects a websites’ rankings.
Another thing to note is that in 2017 Google search engines were split into two categories – one for desktop and one which is designed for mobile-friendly websites. So, if you want to rank for mobile sites then you will need to have a responsive web design.
You Will Make Better Use of Your Budget
A lot of people say that the main drawback of a responsive design is the cost. While it is true that it does cost a little more than other methods, it is much more cost effective in the long haul. We believe that creating different versions of the site to specific devices (mobile redirects) is time-consuming. It also leaves you with two separate sites to maintain. In the long run, responsive design will save you money and be easier for you to maintain once it is all set up.
We should also note that responsive is the way forward. Who knows what the future is going to bring in terms of new technologies? We’re already seeing a rise in smartwatches and other wearables. Having a design solution that can adapt with the times is a wise move, and that’s exactly what responsive design offers! Instead of maintaining multiple pages, going responsive ensures that you can keep everything up to date in the one place.
You Will Maintain Consistency & Enhance User Experience
As there is only the one URL, your website will be the same no matter what kind of device it is being viewed on. This is a vitally important trait for websites to have as it gives a user-friendly website. Okay, so the website is not going to look the same on every device – having been reformatted to best suit the device that the user is on – but it does mean that if they switch devices then they can easily navigate the website because they won’t have to find the desktop version of it.
Having a responsive web design means that all of your content, grids, and images can move freely across all the different screen resolutions and devices. This fluidity allows your customers to gain access to the exact same information, which in turn delivers a more consistent, not to mention better, user experience.
Your Page Will Load Faster
We all know the importance page speed plays in user experience. If a page takes a long time to load, chances are the user will click away to another site – a competitor’s site. It’s not just customers who will leave your site either: Google’s crawler will also leave if the site doesn’t load quickly. This means your site won’t be crawled and indexed properly.
Google suggests that content ‘above the fold’ on a mobile device should load in under a second and that the whole page takes no longer than two seconds to load. When you load a desktop website on a mobile device, it generally takes considerably longer to load. Having a responsive web design will help your page speed. As we keep mentioning, there’s just one URL that search engine bots will need to crawl and index as opposed to countless individual ones for multiple devices.
You Will Make More Money!
This is perhaps the most important factor from your point of view. After all, the goal of your website is to support your business goals. A responsive web design will make your site more visible in search engines and create a mobile-user-friendly site, which by being readable on a whole spectrum of devices means that your customers will find it easier to navigate the site and as a result, you will see your conversions go up.
Those are our top five reasons for why you should invest in responsive web design in 2019. No matter what kind of website you have, our team of experts can turn it into a responsive one. If you have any further questions about how responsive design can help your website, or wish to discuss making a responsive site, please get in touch and find out more about our website building services!