As a developer responsive is the only way I’m programmed now. After two years, I see sites in grids that should respond and flow to the size of a browser. I think mobile first, think about the desktop last.
A lot of our customers and users are just now really starting to understand what a responsive website is and how it is vital to the future of the business and website. While many get that it’s good to make sure they have a mobile site, what is it that makes responsive so important?
What is Responsive Web Design?
Let’s not overcomplicate this – the site responds to the size of the browser, adjusting for almost any size. It’s the same site, it just uses CSS media queries and usually a grid to adjust for the flow. Let me put this back into English – if you’re on a desktop or laptop, drag the side of your browser now; our blog and site adjust to fit anything from a mobile to a large desktop. That’s a responsive site.
A responsive site means us developers only need to build your site once, and then it works on anything from mobile phones of varying (and increasing) sizes, phablets, tablets, and the wide-expanse of PC screen sizes. Sites used to be built in a narrow window so it would work on the smallest screens, and then you’d have the white space on the side. But once the iPhone, Android, tablets, and more devices came around, and that one-size-fits-all approach didn’t work anymore.
So Why Go Responsive?
Your site is your best advertising, meant to be easiest for your users, clients, and prospective buyers. If they have a hard time getting access to your content, and all of your content, no matter what device they’re on, they’re not going to come back. Worse for you, they might complain about their bad user experience to other prospective clients. A responsive site helps prevent those issues and allows it to be accessible from dozens of different viewports.
Most importantly, Google implemented their new mobile check on April 21, 2015. Google checks that your site is mobile-enabled, but it loves a responsive site. It gets rid of duplicate content problems that come with a mobile and separate desktop site, and it means Google has less work to crawl your one version of your site.
For your bottom line, a responsive site also means a lower cost to maintain in the future. It might take more testing time up front, but once you are live, changes are made once and done, instead of two or three times across different site versions.
Don’t wait for your customers to drift away; switch your site to a fully responsive design.