Responsive web design is grabbing headlines, and for good reason. In the age of smartphones and tablets, sites cannot afford to alienate visitors using mobile browsers and the responsive design ethos makes it much easier to optimise for this audience.
But what is it about a responsive website that makes so much sense in the current climate and will this approach be future-proof, or is it a fad that may eventually be overtaken by something else?
In the past the main thing that webmasters had to account for was the different types of web browser that people would be using to visit their sites. Other than optimising for IE, Firefox and Safari, it was safe to assume that most people would be using a keyboard and mouse to interact with a site while viewing content on a computer monitor, which made things easier.
With myriad different mobile devices in use today, from compact smartphones with displays of 4-6 inches in size to tablets with displays of 7-10 inches, complications have arisen. And touchscreen interactivity championed in the mobile arena means that sites which are suitable for desktop consumption can no longer cut the mustard.
While having two distinct sites, one for desktop and one for mobile access, used to be the preferred way to cope with the advance of portable gadgets, today responsive web design is a more efficient and effective option. And since search engines like Google are starting to tell users whether or not sites are mobile friendly before they click through, the onus to update designs has never been stronger.
For businesses seeking web design Stroud and other locations offer companies like http://www.spearsouthwest.co.uk which can help with the adoption of a responsive design which has immediate benefits as well as advantages that will pay off in the future.
People are not just using mobile devices to browse the web; they are increasingly harnessing them to carry out transactions and make purchases. So being able to convert casual site visitors into paying customers is only possible if a site can respond to the device which is being used to view it and make all of the elements, content and interface features fully functional.
Conversion rates are key to success in e-commerce and various reports have shown that with a site optimised for mobiles and tablets, real increases can be gleaned.
This is not just a matter of search engine optimisation, but one of user experience. Earning more clicks from SERPs with a mobile friendly site is easy enough, but being able to boost sales once visitors have arrived will rely on an intuitive and easy to use site.
Successful websites have always had to keep pace with changes in the industry. And keeping tabs on consumer browsing habits is as important as ever, while responsive web design gives sites the flexibility that cannot be achieved in any other way and at such an affordable rate.