Responsive design: what is it and how does it affect my website?
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Responsive Design: what does it mean and how does it affect my website?

Internet access from mobile phones and devices has increase so much that in 2013, for the very first time, it became the preferred method of web browsing by users. The desktop is now in second position and the use of tablets has experienced a notable increase. This is why responsive design has become much more important over the years.

Screen size and resolution can vary greatly between different devices and therefore will directly affect how your website is structured. Therefore the content on a laptop cannot display the same as on a smart phone.

It is therefore paramount that the design and layout of your website is compatible with all mobile devices, so that the content renders well in them all.

So, how does it actually work?

If your website is not responsive and you don’t want to lose visitors to competitor websites that are, then you need to select a professional web designer or agency that knows how to employ responsive web design.

This involves a programming method that creates a unique web page layout for each screen size. The website detects in which screen size it is displaying and shows the version optimised for that particular width.

Responsive Design

Some working examples of responsive websites

In the article Responsive Web Design: 50 Examples and Best Practices, it lists a selection of elaborately designed websites that also a good responsiveness.

Web Responsive Web Responsive

So what’s the difference between responsive and adaptive design?

In fact many people think they both mean the same and use them interchangeably, which is wrong – we have even seen this mistake from fellow web designers! A website with an adaptive design in fact has a completely different website created for mobile viewing, rather than just a modified design of the same website. So when you type the website URL into your mobile, it recognises that it is a mobile device and redirects you to the mobile version of the website. This can be quite inconvenient as the mobile website is often a much more scaled down version of the main website, so visitors may not be able to find the exact information they are seeking, so will get frustrated and leave the site.

If you don’t want this to happen, then we suggest that you go for a responsive web design to ensure that the visitor can access all your information.

Is it really essential that I have a responsive website?

Taking into account the growth of the smart phone and tablet sales, and the increase in Internet access from these devices, having a responsive website if fundamental to any business, if they want to compete effectively online. Browsing websites that do not have adapted designs is slow and cumbersome, as either information disappears of the page, or everything appears very small and therefore almost impossible to read or click on links without constantly zooming in and out, which is not at all user friendly. It is therefore very likely that the visitor will give up and leave the site… and nobody wants to lose potential customers!

A cross-platform website, optimised for different devices, ensures a positive viewing experience and improves the online visibility of our company, thus increasing the potential of creating more traffic to our website.

Furthermore, search engines as Google reward responsive websites and place them in higher positions in the search results, which increases site visits even more, which can convert into actual paying customers… this is after all what really matters, isn’t it?

María Sánchez 5 posts

Maria studied Web Design after graduating in Visual Communication. Digital world enthusiast, worked for an Irish company in Dublin before she joined ArayoWeb team.

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