It’s the biggest thing in website designing right now. If you are not from a technical background or a web design background, it must be difficult to understand. I will try to break it out in layment terms.
What does responsive website designing meaning ?
As the name suggests, responsive website simply means that your responds to the width of the browser of the user. Say for example, you are viewing the website on a mobile screen, a responsive website design will adjust itself and make itself more usable. Its virtually the first step in making a mobile friendly site. With the explosion of devices, you have little control over where the user is going to view your website. This really makes it hard for any developer to predict the user experience. Thankfully, technology has evolved and you can predict with atleast 90% accuracy if your user experience is upto the mark for the success of your business.
Why Responsive Website Designing ?
The main objective of responsive website designing is to avoid the unwarranted scrolling, zooming and panning that occurs with devices that are not optimized for different devices. Another approach and alternative to responsive website designing is to build a separate mobile website, popular companies have adopted this approach.
Responsive Vs. Mobile Website
Responsive is a better alternative, since your mobile website is only viewable on mobile devices and any other device that might be of a variable length and width might render your website poorly.
Why should you invest in responsive website designing ?
Responsive website designing is indispensable in modern content. Because of explosion of devices, you will never know where your website is being rendered. By investing in a responsive website, you are safeguarding your business from prospective business loss that might occur when a stakeholder visits your websites and gets frustrated.
Here are some more reasons to consider a responsive website
Improved User Experience
User Experience is at the heart of the website design. Why do you design a website ? its only for an experience which the user goes through while going through a website. Its worthwhile to invest your time and effort in building a responsive website because your ultimate aim is to leave a lasting impression on a user who has landed on your webpage.
Flexibility means that you are available on as many devices as possible. An opportunity can knock anywhere and anytime. Why loose out when you can capture every opportunity and translate it into a customer .
Google has time and again put forth that a website that is mobile optimized is going to rank higher than a website that doesn’t. So much so that now rankings are tracked both on mobile phone and desktop separately. If you see your rankings falling on mobile phones, you should first really look for the cause on your website rather than outside.
Ease of Management
If you have a separate website for both mobile and desktop, you will have to maintain separate codebase and separate database. So if you change some copy on your desktop website, you will have to replicate on your mobile website. Then there are human errors. I have seen instances, where a brand advertised a flat 50% off on their desktop website, but did not do so on their mobile version. So eliminate the hassle and go for a responsive website designing.
If you are into a B2B business, I am sure that there are still organizations how have not earmarked funds for website development. A lot of these businesses have websites which are literally 15 years old. They do have a presence, but they are portrayed as a really small organization only because their website is not responsive. Now imagine that you a new company and you want to compete with a big giant who does not care about their website. You could seriously dent their online presence with a responsive website because 80 percent of the audience is going to view your website on a mobile device.
Time bears the testimony that all the corporate giants spend a lot on print media such as brochures. They spend a lot of time on designing the most attractive and concise brochures. Now the game has changed, it’s a paperless world. Digital PDFs are replacing brochures now and clever organizations will simply drop a link to their website in their email to pitch their business.
Lastly I would say that, if your budget permits and you have the time, take an extra step and go for a mobile optimized website and not just responsive website. This means that you have look at every screen of your website application and implement a user experience which is palatable to your audience. For example, you could consider a slide in menu from mobile phone, but you also have to make sure that fixed widgets don’t overlap on the menu.
As you can see the widgets are overlapping the menu on mobile, a quick jquery fix can solve the issue and can result in a good user experience. So if you have the time and money to invest in a mobile optimized website, go for it.