Responsive Websites

What is a Responsive Website?

A Responsive Website is all about providing a tailored user experience depending upon the device which is being used to access the website.

Responsive Design - Desktop, Tablet and IPhone

We’re not talking about two separate websites, one for the mobile and one for the desktop. We’re talking about a single website that is flexible and adapts as and when is necessary.

Do I need a responsive site?

Your website audience is no longer tied to the desktop / laptop experience. Mobile internet traffic has, and continues to rise exponentially. Along with this is the growth in the variety of devices upon which mobile traffic can be accessed.

Throw into the equation all of the popular tablet devices being used at home and it becomes increasingly apparent that responsive design is important and is here to stay.

“With a responsive site, you can relax safe in the knowledge that as new devices come out, the responsive approach to your site means that the new device is already catered for. It is future proof!”

As with any website, ensuring your content can be reached at any time and on any device, whilst providing the best user experience is the goal here.

Lot’s of people find that the app analogy is useful. When using an app on your phone or tablet e.g. Angry Birds, you never have to use pinch gestures to zoom in or out or pan around. This is because the app has been designed to specifically cater for the device upon which you are using it. It fills up all available space and this is exactly how your responsive site will work.

My existing site looks perfect on my desktop / laptop though. Why is responsiveness important to me?

Your site may indeed look absolutely pixel perfect on a desktop and laptop, but if the first interaction that a visitor has with your site is via a mobile device or tablet, then you may struggle to engage that user again.

To ascertain exactly how much traffic is being generated from mobile devices, it is relatively simple to set up a free Google Analytics account for your site to obtain some statistics on how your site is being accessed.

“Never make your user work harder then they have to.”

As responsive design becomes increasingly popular and people become increasingly aware of responsive design, visitors expectations change. They now expect sites to be responsive and will reluctantly, if at all, put in the extra effort (think resize, pinch, pan and scroll ) required to engage with a non responsive site.

Will my website still work on a mobile phone if it is not responsive?

Absolutely. If a site isn’t coded as responsive, it should, if coded correctly, still display 100% as ‘intended’.

‘Intended’ in this case means that you have to take into account that for instance, a website with a width of 960 pixels, when displayed on a device with a width of 480px, will display to scale and everything will be compressed.

Therefore to get at the content, there is an emphasis on the user to resize, pinch, pan and scroll.

Not sure whether to take the plunge?

Undoubtedly responsive websites are here to stay and are not merely a passing fad. It therefore makes particular sense for new website ventures to incorporate this functionality from the beginning of the project life cycle.

Whilst it is totally feasible to convert a non-responsive site to a responsive site, it is considerably easier to incorporate the responsive side from as early on in the project life cycle as possible.

As previously mentioned, if you have an existing website that is not responsive and this blog post hasn’t convinced you to make the switch, then we would highly recommend setting up Google Analytics. This is something we can do for you if it is required.

It is very easy to obtain some hard evidence as to exactly which devices are being used to access your site, which will help you make a confident and informed decision.

If you would like to discuss a new responsive website project with us or are interested in converting an existing non-responsive site over to a responsive site then get in contact with us today.