Website were originally designed for computer screens, but now more then half of all internet traffic is coming from mobile phones and tablet devices. That means a business with a website that’s been designed for computers and laptops might be missing out on a lot of potential customers.
Ten years ago, when people first started using the internet on their phones, some businesses would invest in dedicated mobile websites. They might have one for Blackberry, one for Nokia, one for Windows and so on. That was both expensive and time-consuming when it came to website management and maintenance. We are also long past the point of being keep up with the endless new phones, screen sizes and operating systems that are launched every year.
Responsive Design is the solution for this problem. It’s a web development technique for building websites that work optimally on any and every internet-connected device.
To understand Responsive Design (RWD), stop thinking of your website as a fixed object, like a printed brochure. Instead, think of it more like water — flowing and fitting itself to the shape of the whatever container is being used to store it.
In our case, the container is the resolution of your customers’ mobile or computer screen. To make your website ‘liquid’, we break the design down into flexible grids and elements that adjust themselves to different screen sizes.
RWD is not the only method of creating mobile-ready websites, but for small to mid-size businesses it is by far the most popular, flexible and cost-effective.
Responsive Design adds approximately 20 – 30% to the total upfront development cost. Many budget website developers do not include it in their base packages, and instead provide it as an optional upgrade. This can tempt some business owners to leave it out for the time being.
Our own opinion is that a mobile-ready website is no longer an optional extra — it is essential functionality you cannot do without, and for that reason all of our website packages are full inclusive of responsive design. 90% of all purchases are made after an online search, and already the majority of those searches are being done from a mobile phone. Responsive design allows you to get your product and service in front of your audience in a format that’s easy for them to read and buy.
Advantages of Responsive Design
- Improved search results ranking – Google, Bing and other search engines favour mobile-friendly websites and rank them more highly in their search results.
- Long-term savings – Its much more cost-effective to develop and maintain one responsive website than multiple stand-alone mobile websites.
- Competitive advantage – This is a simple way of improving customer service and making your business stand out from the rest.
- Future Proof – Your responsive website will work as well today as it will tomorrow, regardless of the new mobile devices coming onto the market.
- Increase Sales – A customer who can more easily view your website, contact your business, or place an order from their mobile is a customer more likely to buy your product or services.
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