Responsive design has become a hot topic in the web design and marketing world.
There have been great heated debates over the subject and whether it is the best option for any given website owner. This post is not intended to claim responsive design as the only or best mobile website option (although Google does recommend it as of writing this) but simply to explain what responsive design is for those who may just be weighing their mobile website options.
Responsive design is kind of what it sounds like; a design that responds. When a web designer builds a responsive website, their goal is to create something that will adjust to any number of different displays without redirecting or reloading pages, unlike building a separate mobile site that is displayed only when a user is viewing it on a mobile device. To put it simply, a website that is designed responsively is fluid, and dynamic, adjusting automatically to suit whatever screen it is up against.
So what are the benefits of a responsive design?
For starters, universal aesthetics. A well designed responsive website should look good on any size display, from a desktop monitor to a tiny smartphone. A dedicated mobile site usually denotes that at least one version of the site (usually the PC version) uses some degree of static layout which will not necessarily look optimal on many screen sizes.
In addition to pure aesthetics, there are less obvious benefits to a responsive layout, one of the biggest being Google’s admitted algorithmic preference for this style of site. Without going into a long winded SEO lesson, this search engine ‘performance’ boost logically comes from a few key factors:
1) All inbound links to the site go to one single source.
2) There is less potential for being penalized for duplicate content.
3) There is less confusion about which site, domain or layout should be deemed priority, and there is NO confusion about any links going back and forth between a mobile domain or subdomain and a standard domain.
Responsively designed websites are engineered to adapt to as many screen sizes as possible while maintaining their design integrity. Responsive designs can also lead to a natural advantage in search engine rankings, not to mention overall user experience across devices.
At Nerdy House, one of our specialties is creating responsive designs that are unique and user friendly. We advocate it for all our clients as a way to keep their sites modern, future proof and marketing ready.