5 Essential Reasons Why You Need A Responsive Website
Mobile-friendly, or ‘responsive’ design is a “big thing” in web design right now. But if you’re not a designer or developer, you might be wondering what this term means, or why it’s important. You might also be wondering if your business’s website even needs to be responsive. Well, let me tell you that having a responsive website is no longer just an option – if you want to keep up with the market and other competitors, it’s a requirement.
First of all, what is responsive design?
Responsive design is a way of building a website so that content is automatically scaled up or down to fit professionally on different screen sizes. This includes hundreds of different devices, from phones, laptops, tablets and giant monitors, all with varying screen dimensions. The way that these different devices display information on the screen can be very different because of the dimensions.
The ultimate goal of having a responsive website is to give users a seamless experience when visiting a website. It is often difficult to navigate websites that are not responsive – usually involving a lot of scrolling, missed content, cropped images or awkward formatting. This makes it frustrating for users to get the info they need. Have you ever been looking through a website and had to scroll left to right because the content didn’t fit on your phone screen?
Exactly. This can be frustrating and actually deters people away from websites.
Responsive website design replaces the need to create a separate website dedicated to mobile users – now, one website can be built that automatically matches the device being used.
So, why does your business need a responsive website?
1. Target the majority of internet users
One of the most powerful tools in the new age of web development is having a mobile-friendly website. Why? Because mobile traffic is responsible for over 50% of total internet traffic – and this number is expected to rise. This means that more and more people are beginning to not only use their phone for the ‘gram, but they’re also making more purchases directly from their phone. Mobile e-commerce will be responsible for about 67% of total e-commerce sales by 2021. That’s why now, more than ever, it is imperative that your website is mobile-friendly to accommodate people on their phones. You’ll be able to target the majority of internet users if your business’s website is optimized for phones.
2. Lower Cost and Website Maintenance Fees
Maintaining and updating separate sites for mobile, desktop and tablet audiences gets expensive… quickly. By the time you do the same update on all 3 different versions of the site, you’re racking up hours with your developer like no one’s business.
Your business can actually save money by using responsive design, and therefore only having to maintain a single site. The edits only have to be done once and will automatically be reflected on all screen sizes. The number of mobile users is only expected to increase, so it’s better in the long run that your business invests in a responsive website before your customers start asking for it.
3. Support thumb scrollers
Yes, I see you! I often find myself scrolling through a recipe or blog post on my phone using only my thumb. Since phone screens are getting bigger and bigger, areas of websites are getting harder to reach. Try it real quick – pull out your phone and hold it in your right or left hand. Try to reach your thumb to the top corner on the opposite side. Straining?
Yes, it’s only a minor inconvenience to stretch your thumb to reach a button. But if visitors don’t find your website super easy to use, they might just give up. If there’s an important part of your website in that top corner, for example a call-to-action or button, your users will get annoyed that it’s a little hard to click. Thumb-friendly websites take responsive design one step further to make sure that even thumb-scrollers have a great experience.
4. It’s all about the UX (AKA User Experience)
5. Improve SEO (and your site’s exposure!)
Ready to test if your website is mobile-friendly?
Did you get a green light? Sweet, your site passes Google’s responsive test. You might already know why responsive design is so important. Great job!
Did you get red Xs? It’s time to start taking the steps towards a strategy that includes responsive web design to accommodate mobile users.
PS: Check out these blog posts for more web hacks.