Sometimes it’s hard to understand why businesses pay a hefty sum of money for all the website design work. As long as the website is functional, it should not matter how it looks like, right?
Well, it doesn’t work like that. Website design is considered one of the most important aspects that define your online presence. This does not indicate that an exorbitant amount is required to be paid to the topnotch designers but instead, you need to figure out which style of web design works for your business.
At the moment the next “big thing” in web design is “Responsive design”. Unless you are a designer, you must be wondering what responsive design is all about and whether a website design of a business should implement a responsive design or not.
Responsive web design is an approach whereby a web page is created by a designer which resizes itself or responds to the device it is been seen through. These devices are a laptop, an over-sized desktop computer monitor, smartphones and tablets which have a small screen.
Responsive web design was coined by an independent web developer named Mr. Ethan Marcotte in the year 2010 and he wrote a book named “Responsive Web Design”.
As per the web designing solutions in India, responsive design has gained importance among those who have a digital presence. With an increase in the number of smartphones, tablets and other forms of mobile computing devices, more and more people are using small screens to view web pages. Nowadays websites have to consider mobile-first index which has been announced by Google in April 2018. As the mobile presence of businesses gets increased, their websites, pages of social media and so on need to be accessible easily across all the devices.
The idea behind responsive web design is to have one site with various different elements which respond differently when they are viewed on devices being of different sizes.
For example, if a website uses responsive web design and a person views the website on a tablet, then the tablet will adjust automatically so as to display just the two columns. In this way, the content will be easy to read and navigate. When it comes to smartphones, the appearance of the content might be as a single column or the user might have an option to view other columns. Therefore, the images will resize itself instead of having a distorted layout.
As per the Google stats in early 2015, mobile friendliness is considered as the ranking factor in its search engine algorithms. The three main principles that together form the responsive web design are as follows:
- Fluid Grid
- Fluid Images
- Media Queries
Responsive websites are built with the units that are relative like percentages rather than pixels which define the websites. The percentage values are calculated by using a particular formula. By adding these values to the width, margin and padding properties, they are used in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). These are known as Fluid Grids. Fluid images shrink in the responsive website within the confinement of a Fluid Grid. With a single line of CSS code, this can be done very easily.
Media Queries are one of the CSS technology and for several years they have been available in the browsers. CSS is allowed by Media Queries so as to be applied after meeting specific conditions. For example, a media query that applies only to CSS can be written if the browser is able to reach a specific width.
Importance of Responsive Web Design:
The importance of responsive web design can be interpreted from the following benefits which would help you take a firm decision regarding why investing in a website design is a good option:
1. Greater Level of Flexibility
A responsive web design helps you to make changes easily and quickly. There is no requirement of making changes on two websites. When it comes to having a responsive web design, there is a greater level of flexibility which proves as an added advantage in terms of making a design tweak or fixing of a typo error on your site as you are required to do it just once.
2. Being Cost Effective
Maintenance of separate sites for mobile and non-mobile users can be taxing and expensive. With the usage of responsive web design, you don’t burn a hole in your pocket and eliminate the cost of paying for the mobile site. All that you need to do is invest in a single web design that would be suitable on all devices and would appeal to all the visitors.
3. Improved and Enhanced User Experience
The user experience is definitely taken into consideration by website owners. You would want people to like your website which is easy to use so that people would be convinced to come back again and again. If a user visits your website through a mobile device and the pages or the images take a lot of time to load then the chances are that your site would appear unprofessional.
Being unprofessional would definitely make you lose business and the best of your clients. Responsive web design gives a better user experience. As it would help in viewing the content very quickly leading to a positive impact on the visitors.
There are many ways of conducting user testing in order to get valuable feedback. Getting information about the way users interact with your site is invaluable and worth the investment in order to create an experience which is optimal for the users.
Sites like Peek or UserTesting.com provide user testing and charge a small fee for it or may not even charge anything. Unconventional methods such as in-the-wild testing and card sorting play an important role in discovering the pain points which are unsuspected.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Friendly
Search Engine Optimization is a strategy which is used by most of the companies to boost their rankings on the Google’s search page. The closer you are in making to the top of the Google search page the more are the chances of customers finding you. Responsive web design works well with SEO because the preference is given to those websites which are mobile friendly as considered by Google. Therefore, the web responsiveness can help to a great extent in the higher rankings in search engine results.
5. Managing Becomes Easy
Most businesses, with a special mention to the small businesses don’t have time to spare for updating or refreshing the look of their website. The perks of responsive website design allow you to make changes yourself in a quick, easy and efficient manner. This would not require you to hire web designer so as to handle every aspect of your website.
One website in hand would help you in managing the marketing of the other elements easily. Now you do not have to wonder whether to link the mobile or desktop site along with the social media nor think about the redirect links as to whether they are working in a manner to get the right visitors on the right site. Responsiveness definitely takes away such a stress in managing a business website.
6. Website Analytics Become Simple
When you are managing two websites then you need to keep a track of the set of two websites analytics so as to know the location of the visitors from where they are coming and how they interact with your content. This would also lead you to keep a track of multiple signups, thank you pages and so on. Responsive web design simplifies your website stats as you remain on top with a single set of data. The devices and browsers the visitors are visiting and how long they stay on your site can still be known to you and reading data from multiple reports to get a fair picture won’t be required.
7. Website Loads Faster
According to a research study, 53% of the mobile visitors will abandon the site if more than three seconds are taken by the site to load its pages. Responsive websites load faster on all devices especially smartphones and tablets. All thanks to the responsive images and fluid grids because of which less time is taken by the page to load and this would have a positive and a direct impact on the user’s visit.
8. Bounce Rates are Reduced to a Great Extent
Bounce rates would signify the percentage of visitors to a particular site and they navigate away after seeing a single page only. With responsive web designing services, the bounce rates are low thereby allowing the visitors to click through, read other pages on your website and explore whatever you have got to offer on your website.
9. The Conversion Rates are High
Building user trust and improving user experience are as a result of more time spent on your site and lower bounce rates. The conversion rates are better for the improved user experience. The conversion may be referred to as signing for your newsletter, to book a call or make a purchase. The responsive web design makes the conversion rates of smartphones up by 64% as compared to desktop.
10. Social Sharing is Increased
When the content which is responsive is paired with the responsive social media buttons then sharing of links to your site’s pages become easier even on a smaller screen size. Your credibility is increased drastically and you are exposed to a new set of audience leading to more traffic on your site along with more conversions. Therefore responsive web design services leads to your content being socially shared.
11. Helps to Build Better Backlinks
Backlinks play a very important role in search engine optimization strategy because it brings to the notice of search engines that other websites consider your site as one of the reputed sources of information. If you don’t have a responsive site, other websites would not be that much inclined in order to link to you. After all, when you link to a site that does not provide a good user experience, then it makes you look bad too.
12. There is no Duplicate Content
With two versions of your website there leads to a creation of duplicate content. With each advancing day though the search engines are getting smarter, they still need to figure out which website version is more of importance which in turn, would lower the search engine rank of both your websites. For both of your version of website pages to rank well, you need to create separate search engine optimization strategy for them and invest more money so as to produce unique content for mobile and desktop version of your site. With responsive web design, all the above headaches can be avoided. If you are using your site on mobile then the content remains the same even if the URL is different.
As per the aforementioned benefits, you can make out how important it is to have a responsive web design for your business. If you feel your website isn’t responsive then you need to aim to redesign and look for a new and fluid layout. Such a great step as per the web design services would provide you aid in determining which elements of the page are important and which pages need to be eliminated.
Once you gain the clarity on your redesign, you are free to dive into the act of choosing the right platform along with the right theme and template for your site. It is then you follow the steps in order to improve the site’s search engine optimization strategy, conversion and engagement rates and so on. With the advancement in Technology, more and more people are making use of their smartphones and tablets not only to make calls and send messages but also browse the news and view other websites of interests. The experts predict that in the future, the importance of responsive web design will continue as there would be a usage of a higher level of mobile devices.