So you’ve got a great looking website, you can sell your products from it, it loads really quickly and you can even update it yourself without needed to go back to the website developer. Those are all really important features of a good manageable website, but does it work on any device?
Responsive websites are rapidly becoming the industry standard solution for websites to work on all devices. In a nutshell a responsive website adapts to the size of the display it is being shown in. A trademark feature of a responsive website can be seen on a tablet or smartphone when you turn it from portrait to landscape orientation. If the website changes automatically to fit the new screen size, maybe even adding in content that was previously hidden, then the chances are you’re viewing a responsive website.
So now we know what a responsive site is, lets look at 3 reasons why you should switch to a responsive website.
You’ll be missing out on sales
If your website only works on laptop and desktop devices, you’ll be missing out on a large part of the potential market. Web browsing, especially online shopping is mostly done on mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Browsing from mobile devices became the major source of web shopping traffic this year as this report on e-commerce week details.
So why can’t people shop on non responsive websites using a mobile device? The answer is that nearly all mobile devices have a touch screen rather than a mouse and keyboard.
- On a touch screen device viewing a non responsive website, dropdown menus will not stay open long enough for the user to find the page they want to view.
- Online shopping sites have forms to be completed for address and payment details – these can be difficult if not impossible to use on a touchscreen.
In contrast responsive websites use dropdown menus that stay open when touched on a screen until the user chooses the page they want to visit. Web forms resize so that the user can see what text they are entering into them. This means that a mobile user can shop as easily on their device as a desktop user can on theirs.
Edit one site for all devices
Responsive websites aren’t the only solution for getting websites to work on a mobile device. Before responsive sites came along there were ‘mobile’ websites. You can tell a mobile site because its website address usually starts with ‘m.’ e.g. ‘m.bbc.co.uk’. A mobile site like this is in fact a separate website that lives on your web server and is served up when the web server detects a mobile device requesting the website.
We spoke to Liam of Identify Web Design in Wakefield, experienced developers of responsive websites who told us “A new client of mine had a website for desktop with a mobile version for his online brand. He was amazed at the difference switching to a responsive design made. It saved him so much time only having to update his content on one website instead of on his desktop site and then on his mobile site.” “Not only do responsive sites save you time, but they save money too. When you need design changes made your developer will only need to edit one website, not two”.
Future-proof your website
In the world of web, innovation happens very fast and either gets taken up rapidly or dies off quickly. The good news is that responsive design has rapidly become an industry standard solution for website design. This has been partly helped by Google declaring responsive sites as their recommended solution for mobile device inclusion. Being a dominant force in web search, when Google declares something, the web design industry listens.
Not even the best industry analysts can tell what devices we will be viewing our websites on in years to come. Wear-able technology seems to be gaining in market share, especially since Apple launched its watch devices. Having a responsive site does mean that your website can be easily adapted to work on new devices as they come to market.
These are just 3 reasons of a list of many good reasons why a responsive website is the best choice for your website design. We recommend that you consider a responsive design for any future web projects or that you speak to your website developer about converting your existing website into a responsive one.