Rewind about a decade ago in time, and perhaps the primary challenge faced by many (if not all) web designers was maintaining a website’s look and feel across various desktop computer browsers; by the likes of Safari and Internet Explorer. However, in recent times computing gadgets have had a total overhaul and a myriad of new-age gadgets with markedly varying screen sizes have taken over. May it be phones, Tablets or Personal Computers; they all come in a diverse range of shapes, sizes and interactive functionalities. And unlike the simpler times, web designers have to constantly worry about making sure that their websites look and feel the same across every device that springs up.
WHAT IS RESPONSIVE DESIGN?
To put things into perspective, If you ever remember accessing a website on your phone only to find a very tiny version of what you would see on your desktop, and had to constantly zoom in to pan around, zoom out to click on things and then zoom back in to read text- chances are that you recall it as a very irksome web-browsing experience; mostly because that particular website didn’t feature a Responsive Web Design. If you still haven’t developed an idea of what exactly Responsive Web Design is, let me have you know that it (RWD) is actually an approach of lying out and coding a website in such a way that it provides an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices that offer web browsing capabilities. Which in its most fundamental sense, refers to making super adaptable websites that look gorgeous on your phone, tablet, computer or any other media device that you pull them up on. This sought-after responsiveness comes from a fluid grid on which an RWD website works. Meaning that all elements on the page are not scaled by pixels, but instead by what their size should be relative to every other element on the page. For instance, if a webpage has three columns and column one takes up 50% of the page, columns two should take up 30% and column three 20%. This is to say that each of these columns will always take up the same percentage of the page irrespective of the screen size they are displayed on. But that’s not it and other functional aspects such as touch screens, image quality and downloads speed also have to be taken into consideration when building a website with an effective Responsive Web Design.
WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL TO YOUR BUSINESS?
Now that you know what exactly RWD refers to, it’s time to crack the second most important question- Why is it so essential to your website and there-by business? Well for starters, the number of users logging-on from mobile phones and tablets has dramatically skyrocketed in the past few years. To give you a more perceivable statistic, about 80% of consumers regularly use their smartphones to shop online. Which means that website owners; especially in the revenue generating and e-commerce sector have been quick to find new ways reclaim that market segment. One such alternative included developers making separate websites for mobile and Pc browsers, but in all honestly that approach, although still implemented, hasn’t been able to go very far; mostly because it has a negative impact on the website’s ranking. In today’s very technologically fast-paced world, new devices are launched every day and business and website owners needed something more future-proof and conventional to equip their websites with- Thus RWD, making it a market must-have in the last 6 years. Furthermore, Google discloses that Responsive websites actually perform much better in search rankings because they use single URLS unlike non-responsive websites which are likely to have separate URLS for mobile versions.
THE FINAL WORD
If you’re still not convinced about upgrading to a Responsive website, picture a potential client sitting on a toilet-seat, scrolling in vivid amazement through a competitor website and succumbing to their services. That could very well have been your website…but too bad you didn’t upgrade to RWD, and no one fancies bringing their laptops or setting up their PCs next to a toilet. Believe it or not, but a staggering 75% of Americans like to bring their phones to the toilet and well… multi-task. So it can be conclusively said that if you in 2016, own a website and haven’t made use of RWD, you are more than likely to be missing out on some serious clientele; so much so that it can actually be the one thing between you and your next big contract! Let us know in the comments if you’ve adopted a Responsive Web Design, and how is it working out for you?