A ‘Responsive’ website, as the name may suggest responds and adapts to a device’s screen size to give you a more pleasant viewing experience and a general increase in usability. No matter what device you are choosing to browse the Internet from, the website will always maintain a clean, user-friendly consistency.
With over 1 billion smartphone users at large, the need to have a compatible website is more important than it has ever been. Mobile web browsing has been predicted to surpass desktop browsing by the year 2014 after years of rapid growth. Any business with an online presence should be thinking about these statistics and using them to their advantage.
Google has published some astonishing statistics that show the phenomenal growth in smartphone ownership and usage. Two key figures in the UK show that:
- Between the start and the end of 2011 UK smartphone ownership rose from 30% to 45%, a massive rise of 50%.
- 98% of UK internet users used a PC to access the internet everyday, 93% used a smartphone.
Benefits of responsive web design
1. usability for the masses
With no constraints on the device you use when browsing the web, you can give the user an engaging experience; which will increase the probability of them returning to your website. A more engaging experience can ultimately mean increased hit rates and sales from your website.
2. only one website
Many companies have adopted the idea of having separate websites that cater to the needs of individual devices, e.g a website for the average PC user and a mobile friendly version for smartphone browsing. This means the cost of developing and managing your company website will dramatically increase. With the use of Responsive Web Design you can have one website, on one URL and will only have to publish your web content once; saving you time and money.
Having a single URL means that all of your links are directed within the same website and not a separate mobile site, which is definitely a good thing. From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, one URL can gather all links, Page Authority and Page Rank without the complications of separate sites. Another plus is that Google analytics will give you a complete view of all this traffic, making the SEO of your website more effective.
So why go responsive?
As the market for smartphones, tablets and other devices capable of accessing the internet expand; the need for a responsive design to your website will become increasingly important. Responsive Web Design (RWD) conforms to a wide variety of devices making it easier for the user to access web content on the go.
The bottom line is Responsive Web Design is here to stay, with the exponential rate at which smartphone web browsing is increasing, a Responsive Web Design website for any company will soon become the industry standard.