Are you in the process of creating or updating a site? If so, you may be a little overwhelmed with how many elements you are expected to take into consideration. From design to development to SEO, there are a lot of working pieces that go into a successful site, and it’s critical to have a handle on all of them.
As you work through the planning stages, there’s one more factor you should add to your list: responsive design. And although you may not love the idea of having another item on your checklist right now, you’ll be happy that you did a few months down the road when your site is attracting traffic and generating business.
So what exactly is responsive design? And how can you make sure that your site has it? Here’s what you need to know.
What is responsive design?
A site that is responsive adapts to fit all browsers and screen sizes. That means that regardless of the device a visitor to your site uses, they’ll be able to read and navigate your site without any issues.
Responsive design used to be an afterthought for site owners, but now that an increasing number of Internet users browse on their smartphones, tablets, and other devices, it is becoming much more popular. And while mobile versions of sites (the ones that typically start with “m.domain.com”) used to be the preferred way to deal with that, creating one design that adapts to all devices is much simpler than creating a different site for every single one.
Why is responsive design important?
Responsive design ensures that all of your visitors have a great experience on your site. It should make your text easy to read, your navigation easy to use, and your other functionality (like an ecommerce store) just as effective as on your desktop site. This means that customers will have a pleasant experience, and won’t be frustrated by tiny buttons or confusing layouts.
If user experience isn’t a compelling enough reason for you to start using responsive design, the fact that mobile-friendliness is now a ranking factor in Google probably should be. The search engine wants to make sure that the results they provide are satisfactory to users, and that means that they need to be accessible regardless of device. If your site isn’t responsive, or at least mobile-friendly, your chances of ranking well in the largest and most popular search engine in the world could be damaged.
In addition to that, more searches now happen on mobile than desktop for the first time ever. That means that many of your potential customers use their smartphones to find businesses just like yours, and if they can’t find the information they need on your site, there’s a good chance they’ll leave it in favor of a business that provides easily accessible information.
How can you make your site responsive?
If you’ve decided to make the switch to responsive design, you’re on the right track to attracting (and keeping) more traffic from mobile. However, it isn’t exactly a simple switch if you don’t have much experience with responsive design.
If you use a CMS like WordPress, you may be able to make your site responsive simply by installing a plugin like one of these. However, if you run an HTML-only site, your best bet is probably to contact a web design agency that has experience with responsive design.
Although it can be costly up front, a design that is accessible to all of your site visitors can improve your chances of ranking well in mobile search and converting traffic into customers. In an age where almost everyone uses smartphones to find businesses to work with, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Now that you know why responsive design matters, it might be time to start looking for an agency. If that’s the case for you, feel free to use the form below to contact us today!