Responsive Web Design: What Is It and What Are Its Benefits?

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No longer are people just accessing websites from desktop computers. With the explosion of smartphones and tablets people are now surfing the web from a multitude of different devices. They want to have access to information from anywhere at anytime. This means website owners must create a mobile version of their current desktop website if they wish to appeal to a wide audience. If not they’re missing out on sales and or subscribers.

What is Responsive Web design?

Often referred to as RWD, it’s where your website layout adapts to the viewing environment whether it is a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone. For example the Boston Globe is a good example of a responsive website that can be displayed on multiple devices.

Here is an overview of Google’s recommendations

1. Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive Web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.

2. If responsive design is not the best option to serve your users, Google supports serving your content using different HTML. The different HTML can be on the same URL (a setup called dynamic serving) or on different URLs, and Googlebot can handle both setups appropriately if you follow our setup recommendations.

Top 7 benefits of responsive web design

1. Save time

Instead of designing a separate website for mobile users simply select a mobile responsive theme so you’ll only have to work on one project and have one URL. For instance if you building a new website consider purchasing a mobile responsive theme from StudioPress because it’s already designed to correctly display across multiple devices.

2. Save money

If you were to create separate sites for the desktop, iPhone, Android, iPad and other tablets it would get very expensive. It would also be a hassle to create another website whenever a new device comes out. With responsive design you only need to build one website.

3. Appeal to a wide audience

The key to marketing success is to go where your customers reside online. If your website doesn’t display correctly on mobile devices you’ll not only lose customers but lose sales. An RWD website will appeal to all people no matter what device they are using and where they are accessing it from.

Watch on YouTube: Responsive Web Design

4. Stay ahead of your competition

Since Responsive Web Design has not yet been implemented for most websites you will be a step ahead of the competition. For example a potential customer may visit one of your competitors sites with their mobile phone but is unable to read the information so they leave and visit your site to purchase your product or services.

5. Attract search engine traffic

If you built a separate website for mobile users with a different domain you wouldn’t capitalize on all the traffic your current website receives from the search engines. Instead you would have to build traffic to the new domain and redirect visitors to your mobile site. Responsive design enables users to easily navigate your web pages with minimal load time and search engine spiders would only have to crawl your pages once to retrieve your content.

6. Avoid duplicate content

Google and other search engines give the highest rankings to websites containing original content. Sites with duplicate content get penalized with lowered rankings. If you designed one site for desktop users and one for mobile users both containing the same content it would affect your rankings. RWD will prevent duplicate content because you only have one website.

7. Keep inbound links in one location

The quality and quantity of links pointing to a website determine its rankings. If you have 2 different URLs (one for the desktop site and another for the mobile site), you would have to build links to both. An RWD site only uses one URL for all devices which means the rankings and visitors would not be divided between mobile, tablet and desktop users.

If your current website is not mobile compatible, consider a responsive design so you’ll stop losing visitors and sales.

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Comments

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