A perfectly acceptable question, we live in a multi-screen world. I remember when I was a young kid we had one TV in our family room that we all could watch TV, VHS tapes and then we had the computer to play video games and do homework.
But times have changed…a lot. The other day I was looking in the office that my husband and I share. Each of us had a laptop, and I have a monitor to hook my laptop to, to have more than one screen to work from. Each of us has a smartphone (I have an IPhone he has an Android) and a Kindle as well. That’s a total of six screens in ONE room.
What makes this even crazier is the fact that each one has the capability to browse the internet. Add to the fact that each one has its own screen resolution. This can be very tricky for the modern web designer. Why? All of your work needs to be able to look sweet on a plethora of devices.
So what’s the solution to today’s multi-device madness?
One option is to just ignore mobile screens since most people still DO browse the internet from traditional computers, but that isn’t practical and really limits the shelf life of your next website.
The best option is Responsive Web design (RWD). “Responsive websites use a fluid layout that adapts and responds to your user. Meaning that you are able to maintain one website that will serve all of your customers, no matter where or what they are viewing it on,” (PowerShift).
Here are four reasons why you should make your next or even current website responsive.
- Mobile usage is exploding.
The statistics below may be impressive, but many businesses do not yet have a mobile site. Hopefully reading through these stats provided by Smart Insights will light a fire to encourage you to stop ignoring the need for a mobile website.
- Over 20% of Google searches are completed on a mobile device
- 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer good mobile experience
- 26% of all emails are open on mobiles phones and 10% are opened on tablets
- Having a positive user experience is a must.
According to Google’s Think Insights on mobile, if a user lands on your mobile website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 60% chance they will leave immediately or go to another website (most likely a competitor). If you provide a good user experience it’s 67% more likely they will buy a product or use your service.
- Using responsive design is preferred for SEO.
Having one single URL makes it easier for a Google bot to crawl (or spider) to your site as well as
reduces the chance of on-page SEO (search engine Optimization) errors. For these reasons responsive websites typically perform better and are easier to maintain than a separate template site for mobile.
- Responsive design adapts to the future of devices.
One of the greatest benefits of responsive design is that the size of the template is designed based on screen size not mobile device size. This means that no matter what the size is on the device someone is viewing your site from, it will display properly for that screen size.
A way of accomplishing this is using a CSS3 or HTML5 command called media-queries is the first step to making your site responsive. This allows you to set a max and min for each size (phone, tablet, desktop, etc.). Your media query will kick in once the max is reached or the minimum is reached and will bring in the new CSS to position for that device. This is called a “liquid” layout.
Moving forward with responsive web design will be an extremely critical part of your website strategy and will provide mobile users a better experience. It’s no longer a nice feature to have a mobile website; it’s becoming a necessity and literally can impact the growth and profitability of your business.
What can you do to get more out of your website? The best answer is to make it responsive. Whether you are thinking of renovating your current website or creating a new one, look into creating it with responsive design. I think you will be surprised at the great results that you can achieve by using this leading edge design technique.