This blog comes with a handy Responsive Web Design Checklist & Worksheet to get you started.
Since 2018, mobile-phone traffic has accounted for more than half of all internet traffic. This means that planning for mobile users is no longer an optional web-development feature.
Responsive web design is an approach based on the notion that design and development should respond to the end user’s needs. It looks at the device are they using, their screen size, and their orientation and presents content in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly in their specific environment. This means the images, text, and other forms of content and interaction need to automatically resize, hide, or change formats to match whether the user is using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
The challenge is that small smartphone screens can be hard to read and control if the content is not displayed appropriately. Large images can break the layout. Links that are too close together can be hard to click.
Data volume can also be a difficulty. Sites can be slow if they are pushing one-size-fits-all images over a cellular connection. Dynamic-image selection minimizes these concerns by using smaller images on smaller devices.
And then there’s navigation. We may want to highlight different menu links on a mobile version than on a desktop. When people are accessing the information on mobile devices, for example, they are often on the go and want easy ways to access contact information, making calls, placing orders, and finding directions. The good responsive design presents buttons that proceed to the desired action quickly and easily.
Good responsive web design overcomes these hurdles through a clever mix of flexible structures, images, and intelligent use of development techniques. By implementing best practices, developers can even increase the likelihood that new devices to market will still display optimally, devices that don't even exist currently.
An Inferior Alternative: Mobile Website
A mobile website is a browser-based way of accessing website content. It's designed specifically for mobile devices and responds to only mobile devices, and therefore the mobile design of the website is different from desktop design. In practice, it means having a duplicate of all content since the server is presenting a desktop website to desktop users, and a mobile version to smartphone users. Maintenance becomes problematic, and differences in content easily occur.
In contrast, a website with responsive design has a layout created for supporting multiple devices simultaneously. It works well by properly scaling down for smartphones and tablets with touchscreen interfaces, but presents glorious images for desktop users.
Benefits of Responsive Web Design
Here are some of the many benefits of using responsive web design.
1. More Mobile Traffic
According to Google, in 2018 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones. This speaks to the important of getting more traffic on your website using a single responsive website. Responsive design is becoming the ideal because it offers greater versatility at lower development costs.
2. Faster Mobile Development at Lower Costs
Another option available to website owners is to develop an independent mobile app, but these consume an incredible amount of development effort and should only be pursued in cases of enormous volumes. It is very expensive to create a mobile app for your website and it takes a lot of time to bring it to market. Responsive web design can be implemented at a relatively low cost and it can save valuable time.
3. Lower Maintenance Needs
Having a separate mobile website comes with all the extra maintenance costs of a second website.
4. Faster Loading Time
With responsive web design, we can use different sized graphics based on the screen size of the device. In this case, smaller devices can have small-sized graphics so that they load faster.
5. Lower Bounce Rates
Responsive websites provide a much better user experience for the visitor. If your site is responsive, then the visitors stick around for a longer period of time and explore different areas of your website. On the other hand, if your site is not responsive, then it is much harder to keep the visitor engaged in your website and they might not visit your site again.
6. Higher Conversion Rates
Giving the responsive feature for all users is key to converting new customers. If users want to subscribe to a service, they don’t like to be redirected to device-specific websites because the process often takes too much time. Having a single, secure website that can perform well for all devices is more effective and efficient.
7. Easier Analytics Reporting
It is important to know where traffic is coming from and how visitors interact with your website. This helps to make informed improvements. Single, responsive sites greatly simplify the monitoring process since all traffic comes from a single site. Google Analytics and other similar tools can track surfing patterns in a single report so that you can see how your content is performing on different devices.
8. Improved SEO
Responsive web design is very important for search engine optimization as quality content. Having a single, responsive website avoids the issue of duplicate content, which can negatively impact your search ranking.
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