A recent Pew Internet Research Study concluded that 56 percent of American adults aged sixteen and over own smartphones. Many smartphone owners use their phones to browse the Internet, which presents an opportunity for businesses to create responsive websites that are easy to navigate on non-PC devices.
“Many business owners tell us that they have heard of responsive web design but aren’t sure exactly what it is,” says Bop Design principal
The Pros of Responsive Website Design
• Using a responsive website structure eliminates the need to develop a separate mobile website. This means businesses do not have to reprogram their websites from the ground up, which in turn means potential savings on web development costs.
• Responsive websites resize images, text, forms, and buttons to maximize screen space for easier use. When interacting with standard websites on phones or tablets, using the fingers to zoom in and out on the screen takes time and attention away from the website’s content.
• Responsive sites look modern and on trend with todays web standards. Websites designed for computers only appear dated and difficult to manage when viewed on a modern mobile device.
• Web marketers can update their website content in one place only because a responsive site is just a standard website with additional coding. Therefore content updates do not need to be done on separate mobile and static websites.
• Using a responsive website can also have a positive impact on a website’s SEO. Responsive sites feature the same content as the static site and allow search engines to crawl both the mobile and static websites at once.
• Web marketers can ensure that they are getting the right content in front of their customers at the moment they want it, especially if their business is conducting an email marking campaign. “Since many users read their emails while waiting in line or during their commute, they can easily navigate to a business’ website instead of remembering to return to the site at a later time,” says Durant.
The Cons of Responsive Website Design
• Sometimes when responsive sites are greatly scaled down (when viewed on mobile phones, for example) some of the web components can disappear or become difficult to access. With separate mobile sites, users usually have the option to access the entire website.
• Some responsive websites can take longer to load. Because the images on a responsive site are visually scaled down and not re-sized for fastest load times, smartphones and tablets can notice a lag in loading speeds, especially when on a mobile network (not a Wi-Fi connection).
• Since the website content is now stacked vertically to accommodate smaller screen space, important features can get overlooked by users due to long scrolling.
“If you’re unsure if a responsive website is right for your business, it’s important to take into account who your customers are, how they interact with your website and when and where they are most likely to access it,” concludes Durant. “Based on the information above, the answer should quickly become clear.”
Bop Design is a
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