responsive web design

It may seem surprising, but today more web traffic comes from mobile devices than desktops or laptops; To be precise, 70-80% of website traffic is mobile on average across industries. With a variety of devices available, from tablets to phones and everything in-between, it is very important that your website is able to work on all of these devices. This is where responsive web design comes in. This approach allows for the website to respond to the device connecting to it, and fit any resolution screen, operating system, or even screen orientation. 

What Is Its Purpose?

In order for a site to be responsive, it must have a mix of flexible layouts, grids, images and a use for CSS media queries. When looking at a traditional website on a desktop, the website may have 3 distinct columns of information and imagery displayed across the screen. However, it is impossible to fit these three columns across the screen of a vertically oriented phone. Without a responsive website design, the text will not fit across the screen, and the user will have to swipe from side to side or zoom in to be able to see the full scope of information displayed. This makes it very difficult for anyone to find the information they need, and makes them more likely to “bounce”, or immediately leave the website. Additionally, if the graphics are large and the website is not designed to be responsive, it will take the website a long time to load on a mobile phone, making the user even more likely to leave the site before it even loads. A non-responsive web design is not only bad for user experience, but also makes advertising more costly, destroys any potential to build SEO (search engine optimization), drives away younger customers and ultimately hurts business. 

How Does Responsive Web Design Work?

Instead of using columns with a set ratio, responsive websites use fluid grids. These grids are sized based on screen proportion, rather than pixels. This allows for each column to resize and reorganize based on the size and orientation of the screen they need to fit in real-time.  Many websites today are designed mobile-first, meaning that they are created for mobile devices first, then scaled up to fit desktop and laptop screens. Responsive designs first use flexible grids to create “relative sizing”, to help make the content fit the screen. They also use media queries, which allow the website to detect the device you are using. Lastly they use flexible media, meaning images and videos load differently, depending on the screen size. In short, all of these elements combine in order to make sure images are not pixelated or scattered, and the site fits the screen without text or images getting cut off.

What Are The Benefits Of A Responsive Website Design?

Responsive web design has several benefits. The first of these is increased web traffic, meaning more people visiting your website. With the surge of people now using mobile devices to search the internet, once you have a responsive website you open yourself up to twice as many devices having access to your content.  This also works hand-in-hand with both advertising and search engine ranking. Essentially, a mobile responsive website is vital for both website marketing and functionality. Without a responsive site, it is nearly impossible to have successful online marketing. Today, Facebook and Google are the largest online advertising platforms, and both primarily consist of mobile traffic, with about 70% of traffic being mobile on Facebook. This means that it is almost mandatory to have a responsive website in order to have an effective online marketing campaign strategy. In the end, today no new website design should be non-responsive, and any older design should be upgraded in order to pursue successful SEO ranking and stay relevant in today’s ultra-competitive world of digital marketing.

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