Thoughts on Design with Margaux: WHY YOU NEED A RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
A Responsive website is something you hear a lot about, but do you really know what it is and why you might need one?
In today's blog I'm going to discuss these questions and the benefits of a Responsive website design in hopes to help you make the right decision when upgrading or even when you start building your website.
You often hear about mobile design, but this shouldn't be confused with responsive design. Responsive design requires you only have one website that is coded to adapt to all screen sizes, no matter what the device (think tablet, iphone, android, laptop, desktop, etc) the website's being displayed on. In contrast, a mobile design is a completely separate entity requiring you to have a second, mobile-only website or subdomain. Mobile templates are also built for each specific site, not per screen size. This can cause some issues on viewing and it's damn near impossible to code for EVERY device out there.
So it seems like right off the bat it's a no brainer to get a responsive design (especially if you love whoever is coding your site), but here are some popular reasons we believe you'd want to consider having a responsive design, which at m+j design we make all our sites responsive.
Mobile Usage is on the Rise
Currently, more than 58% of American adults own a smartphone and almost 60% of all website traffic is from mobile devices. And every month mobile usage continues to grow, so every month more and more prospects and customers will view your website from a mobile device. If their experience viewing and interacting with your site is poor, they'll likely have a lower opinion of your brand, and they'll also be more likely to visit a competitor's site.
Positive User Experience Should be a Priority for Your Site
There are plenty of business reasons to implement a responsive website, but they all connect back to the goal of providing a better user experience for your audience. A responsive site means no more pinching and zooming, and no more side scrolling, to see an entire site that doesn't fit on a mobile screen. And a positive user experience reduces bounce rates, boosts website conversions and improves brand perception.
Blogging and Social Media Brings Mobile Visitors
If you’re like most of our clients, we encourage blogging and social media as part of your brand's marketing strategy, and a large number of social media users are going to be using their mobile device. With that being said, if you're sharing out content links or links to your website and don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re not only going to experience high bounce rates and low conversion rates, but also a frustrated audience, leading back to that positive user experience discussed above.
Responsive Design is Preferred for Search Engine Optimization
Responsive design is Google's recommended approach for mobile web design. Per Google, responsive websites will perform better in search rankings because they provide a better user experience than sites that are not mobile friendly. Additionally, Google likes that responsive sites use single URLs vs. different URLs for separate mobile versions of websites. Furthermore, mobile phones now have a separate Google search algorithm as well, so just because your site ranks high via a desktop search doesn't mean it will continue to rank well for individuals or perform the same search results via their phone. This issue becomes even more critical when you consider that mobile searches have started taking over desktop searches!
A Fast Loading Responsive Website is So Important
According to the Google PageSpeed Developers, standards recommends that the content above the fold on a mobile device loads in under 1 second and the entire page loads in under 2 seconds. This is typically not possible when loading a desktop website on a mobile device. When a user has to wait too long for a page to load, there’s an extremely high chance they will leave your site and visit a competitor's.
Responsive Adapts to Future Devices
One of the big benefits of responsive design is that the size of the template is designed based on screen size, not device. This means that no matter what size screen someone is viewing your website, it will display properly for that screen size. So, in the future, as new devices (TVs, watches, glasses, etc.) are being used for web browsing, your responsive site will still look beautiful and hold the integrity of your site's design intent.
What do you think about responsive design? Is it something you've already implemented or are you planning to do so soon? We'd love to help you evaluate your site or even start the discussion to get you and your brand moving the right direction. Contact me at m+j design to set up a free consolation. -Margaux Verdera