What is a responsive website design

iphone-ipad-new-whiteIn the last year or so there has been so much talk about responsive website design, but do you really know what it is and how it benefits you the website owner?

Once upon a time there were websites visited by people using computers. Then came along mobile devices capable of viewing websites but the websites were too big for the small screen. So some incredibly smart developers created mobile websites. Mobile websites were scaled down versions of the website making them compatible and viewable on mobile devices.

Although mobile sites were the answer and the cats meow, there was still a problem. Now website owners and webmasters had the task of maintaining 2 separate websites, full size and mobile.

Along came the resolve – develop a website that could be “responsive” to the screen size of the device being used to view the website. And with that need, Responsive Website Design was born.

Websites created with responsive website design will adapt to the users screen size automatically keeping the user engaged with a quality visual experience. As always, nothing is perfect and as the website will resize, depending on the overall design it may not be exactly what you expected. One small example is if you main website uses a slider (slideshow) on the homepage or inner pages. Most responsive designs automatically null the slider for faster load on a mobile device. This is not the end all, and in most cases you can choose to display the slider on a mobile device, just understand it could possibly slow down the load time, and in turn your visitor may bounce.

Lets talk statistics for a minute. Utilizing information obtained from our Google Analytics account for a website we manage you can see the importance of having a responsive website design. Over a 30 day period there were 953 visitors to the website. Of the 953 visitors mobile device users equaled 253 and tablet users equaled 128. Combining the mobile & tablet users we can now see that approximately 39% of the total visitors used a mobile device or tablet to view the website. Having almost 50% of all users visiting via a mobile device means to us that a responsive website design is important.

We should also tell you that out of the 39%, more than half (24%) used an Apple device.

Below are 2 articles on the same subject that we thought were worth sharing.

http://mashable.com/2013/08/20/mobile-web-traffic/ & http://www.vocus.com/blog/50-mobile-search-stats-and-why-you-should-care/

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