What is Responsive Web Design

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Published: 27 April 2016


What is Responsive Web Design

A responsive web design is one way to make your website mobile friendly. Making sure you website is mobile friendly is now more important than ever. Over half of all google search now come from mobile devices, and mobile internet user have outnumbered desktop users for the couple of years.

Mobile stats vs desktop users global

Chart by comScore.

What is Responsive Web Design and Why You Need It

The term “responsive web design” was coined by Ethan Marcotte in 2011. As mobile internet use grew through the noughties it became clear that user experience wasn’t great. People on mobiles had to pinch and zoom to navigate around websites designed with laptops and desktops in mind.

Responsive web design overcomes the frustrations of a small screen by automatically resizing and rearranging the website content. The result is a consistently good user experience across devices, regardless of screen size. Below are a few examples of our own responsive web design work.

You could develop an independent mobile website or theme, some websites will do this. However, you are generally making a lot of unnecessary work for you self unless you have a good reason. A responsive website allows you to publish your content once, you don’t have to worry about formatting it for different screen sizes. There is also the extra cost to think about when developing separate mobile and desktop websites.

Google considers user experience one of the most important aspects of a good website, second only to the websites contents. To that end there are several elements in the search algorithm to ensure that the websites with the best user experience tend rank the higher than ones with a poor user experience. When it comes to mobile search there is a very clear rule in the algorithm, if the website is not mobile friendly it will not appear in the mobile search results. That could be losing you 50% of your potential organic search traffic. If you want to know if your website is mobile friendly sign up for Google Search Console (its free), and register your website. Once you’ve done that browse to ‘Search Traffic > Mobile Usability’, and check for any problems.

 

what is responsive design

Infographic by Hall Internet Marketing.

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