Responsive Design: What is it and do I need it?

You are probably hearing a lot about responsive design. What exactly is it and do you need it for your website? I'll be answering those questions in this post, so read on.

What is Responsive Design?

According to Small Business Trends, responsive design is an approach whereby a designer creates a web page that “responds to” or resizes itself depending on the type of device it is being seen through. Simply put, this means that your website will look good and not get cut off on any size device - desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.

Have you ever tried to pull up a website on your phone, only to get frustrated because part of the page is missing? That is because it has does not have a mobile responsive design.

Wikipedia states that the first website to be created with a responsive design in mind was back in 2001. Mobile responsiveness has become essential with the growing use of smaller devices in the past few years.

Does My Website Need a Responsive Design?

The short answer is a resounding YES! Every website should be built to accomodate any size device because of the increase in the use of phones to do web searches.

If you take a look at an article in Statista, you can see that the percentage of website traffic that comes from a mobile device has increased from about 35% in 2015 to 52.2% in 2018. That is quite a jump in only five years. It shows why you need to be concerned if your website is not mobile friendly. You will lose readers and customers if your website doesn't show well on a mobile device.

This is not to say that you should disregard desktop users when designing a website. They are still extremely important. Even though mobile users have surpassed desktop users, there is still a lot of people using desktop to do internet searches. So, the bottom line is that your website needs to look and function great on any and every size device.

Mobile First Design and Indexing

Our discussion would not be complete without mentioning mobile first design and indexing. Mobile first design is the process of designing your website first for mobile users, then adapting it for desktop users.

According to the Google Webmaster blog, "mobile-first indexing means that we'll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they're looking for."

Hopefully, you are seeing that it is time to make sure your website has a responsive design. Not only does it benefit your customers and keep them on your website, but it also keeps Google happy - a winning combination.


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