If you’ve been paying even passing attention to web development trends, you should have noticed by now that mobile-friendly web design is de rigueur. In fact, consumer preference for mobile-compatible websites is so strong that Google has even begun placing mobile-friendly sites better in its rankings for searches performed on mobile devices. If you rely on search traffic for leads and have a website that isn’t optimized for mobile, that’s a strong incentive to start talking to a web design agency about a redesign as soon as possible.
You’ll probably also want to know a little more about responsive web design, the most popular mobile web design option available. Here are the top three questions you probably already have about it, answered without confusing technical jargon:
How Does Responsive Web Design Work?
There’s no need for you to understand the coding work that goes into responsive web designs (though it is considerable). What you should understand is how responsive websites function from a user perspective. Essentially, responsive designs are “smart” enough to recognize the kinds of devices that access them, automatically adjusting their configurations for optimum viewing on each of those devices. That means that no matter what kind of device a site visitor is on, he or she will be able to clearly read all the text, view images at appropriate sizes, and access menu items without difficulty.
Why Should I Choose a Responsive Design?
The biggest incentive for implementing a new responsive design is that it’s actually typically the easiest and most affordable way for a business to get a mobile site up and running — which, of course, means less time missing out on search traffic because of an outdated site. And because a responsive design is just one site that renders differently based on various devices, that means it’s also easier to maintain. Any updates or modifications only need to be made once. That’s a major plus, especially for small businesses maintaining their own sites via a content management system.
What Are the Other Mobile-Friendly Options?
While responsive design is the best option for most businesses out there — especially small businesses — creating a separate mobile version of your site is also a valid route. In this case, visitors on mobile devices would be redirected to a different URL (m.yoursite.com, for example). Some web designers feel that this route allows for better customization of the mobile experience, sometimes even moving around content based on the perceived needs of mobile searchers. And finally, a note on mobile apps: While mobile app design is a fast-growing field and many businesses will want to make app versions of their websites for mobile users to download, mobile apps don’t replace mobile-friendly websites. Not all browsers will want to download apps, especially if they don’t anticipate visiting your site repeatedly, so it’s very important to have a mobile-compatible site regardless.
Do you have any other questions about responsive designs? Ask or join the discussion in the comments.