Responsive Web Design
Not so long ago, you would know with reasonable certainty what size your website had to be. There were a limited number of computer monitor sizes, so you could fix the width of your site, fix all the elements in their places and that would be that.
... there are now more Google mobile searches than desktop searches worldwide.
But as the picture above illustrates, things have changed. There are a vast and growing array of devices to surf the web on, including desktops, laptops, tablets, phablets, smartphones, smartwatches and so on. According to an Ofcom report, smartphones have overtaken laptops as the most popular devices for getting online, so if you want your site to be available to as many people as possible, and you definitely should, your site has to be mobile friendly.
Advantages Of Responsive Design
When a site designed only for large monitors is squeezed to fit on a smaller screen, text, images and menus end up being too small to see clearly or use, which will put off users. Responsive websites are designed to respond to the device a person is using. Text, images, menus, contact forms and other elements rearrange and scale according to the device being used to view the site. Responsive sites can also be coded to display images optimised to load faster on mobile devices. So your site will look good and load fast across all devices, making it much more user friendly. Google has also stated that there are SEO gains for sites that are mobile friendly
There is the option to build a separate mobile site, but a single responsive site has many advantages:
- They make it easier for users to share and link to your content with a single website address.
- It's easier and cheaper to maintain one responsive site rather than a desktop and mobile site.
- Mobile sites require redirection for users to have a device-optimized view, which makes pages load slower and is prone to error.
- Managing SEO for one responsive site is much less complex than for a desktop and mobile site setup.
It's no wonder then that Google recommend responsive websites over a desktop and mobile combo. You can read what they say in more detail here.
Is Your Site Responsive?