What is Responsive Web Design?

Posted by luke on

In short, responsive websites are sites that respond to the environment (or platform) that they are being viewed in. This means that they can be used on any platform (laptop, mobile, iPad etc) and they will adjust appropriately.

Where did it come from?

Unresponsive websites were a problem when mobile and notebooks first started to surface. Websites that worked fine on desktop computers became awkward when used on these devices.

Web developers had two choices. The first choice was to make specific versions of these sites that fit the dimensions and resolutions of the individual devices. Many people still do this today, where they have a ‘mobile’ version of the site and then a ‘desktop’ version.

The second choice was to create responsive websites. These were sites that, in a sense, could ‘think for themselves’ and adjust to the resolution, image size and scripting abilities of the device they were being viewed on.

Who uses it?

Almost all good websites responsive websites. There is conflicting data as to the exact statistics of responsive website users. MarketingLand has a great article about this, where they argue it is not 82% of web developers that use responsive websites, but closer to 18%.

In any case, it appears that the frontrunners of the digital world are increasingly heading into the realm of responsive website design and for very good reasons.

Why use it?

  • A responsive website is like insurance against future technological advances, New devices are coming out every year that each have their own set of digital parameters and responsive website design takes care of that. You never have to worry about creating a new website to fit the ‘new’ technologies that come out that year, you only have to do it once.
  • Responsive websites also make for a much better user experience. Ultimately, you want your site to be able to be used by anyone at anytime.
  • The big benefit for many website owners is the cost-effectiveness of responsive web design. Because you don’t have to spend more money on creating a new website every time a new device comes out, you save money in the long run.
  • It helps your SEO – Google frequently has said that it prefers websites that are responsive over those that are not. Considering that Google is the largest search engine by a long shot, it is a wise move to play by their rules.
  • It is simpler to manage – Running multiple sites for multiple platforms can get confusing and tedious at the best of times. It is just simpler when there is only one site to deal with.

Responsive Web Design is becoming a necessity for websites nowadays. In our opinion the benefits of these sites far outweigh any of the negatives (of which there are very few). If you want to get serious, get yourself a responsive site.

Check out our other blog posts on Website Design:

Why Is Web Design Important?

Top 5 Most Common Mistakes For Ecommerce Website Design

What To Look For In A Website Hosting Service (Part 1)

What To Look For In A Website Hosting Service (Part 2)

How to Utilise SEO Web Design

A Guide To Small Business Web Design

The Top Web Design Mistakes To Avoid

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