A responsive website is the results of a web design and development technique that allows the website to adapt to the screen that is being used on, regardless of which device it is: phone, tablet, desktop, etc.
The content on the website is automatically optimised to give the user a better experience, allowing the clients and prospects to easily browse, find information or purchase a product.
What is the difference between mobile and responsive design?
Many people tend to confuse the terms mobile friendly and responsive design, but they are not exactly the same. A mobile friendly website will look good on mobile devices but might have issues on devices with bigger resolution. This is where a responsive design wins because it will adapt to all screen sizes, while keeping a consistent design and offering a good user experience.
The biggest advantage of having a responsive website is that it only requires you to have and manage one website. As for a mobile friendly only websites, they require you to have a separate website, normally on a subdomain, ex: m.websitename.com, with pages and content optimised for mobile devices.
Here are some of the benefits of having a responsive website:
1. Increased visibility in Search Engines (SEO)
Responsive web design is actually recommended by Google and normally websites have a higher chance of ranking in Search Engines. Also, managing SEO separately for both mobile and desktop can be difficult and might not produce great results. Having one single URL vs multiple URLs for mobile version, makes it easier for Google to crawl and index your website.
2. More traffic from mobile users
According to Smart Insights, over 80% of internet users own a smartphone and more than half of online traffic comes from mobile devices. These stats are growing rapidly month by month and is not a surprise, since we spend most of our time on our smartphone, checking emails or using social media.
This can directly impact your website visitors, and your process of generating new leads for your business. If your website doesn’t have a responsive design and the user it’s not being able to easily navigate through and read your offer, you have higher chances of loosing them to your competition.
3. Adapt to multiple devices
One of the big benefits of responsive web design is the ability to adapt your website content to any size, which means no matter what devices (smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc.) your visitor is using, you website will always look good.
Also you need to plan in advance and think of the bigger picture (not just mobiles and tablets), as the variety of new devices that users are using to browse the internet is increasing: smart watches, TVs, etc.
4. Better user experience
There are plenty of benefits of having a responsive website, but the main one that affects your business directly is providing a better user experience for your visitors.
According to internet stats, if a user lands on a page and he’s not being able to read or navigate properly through the website, there is a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor). But, if you provide a positive experience, a user is 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.
5. Cost effective & Easier to manage
There are many business that have 2 websites, one for their main site, and second for it’s mobile version. This used to be a common practice before responsive website design & development came in play. Not only that this increases the cost of developing a website, but also the time and money spent on managing both versions.
With responsive web design, you will only need one website, which straight away will lower your investment at the initial development stage, and also save money and time long term on management costs.
Is your website responsive?
You can check if your website is responsive by using the following methods:
Initial test to see if you passed the Google Mobile Friendly Test
Check how your website looks on different devices here: Am I Responsive?