The concept of responsive web design was original described by Ethan Marcotte. Responsive web design is a design that responds to the viewing device whether mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer. Responsive web design is a way of creating a single website that displays and works effectively on both desktop and mobile devices. A responsive website automatically changes the layout to suit the screen size of the device being used to view the site. To make it easier to understand, picture a responsive website as a group of blocks that change from being placed side by side to being stacked one on top of the other. In comparison, a static (standard) website retains its layout whether being view on a mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer. As well as flexible layouts, mobile responsive web design usually incorporate simpler navigation and more focused content with less images. Simpler navigation creates a better user experiences, more focus content means less clutter and less images decreases page loading times. A responsive we design uses mobile-friendly features like:
- No Flash content and other media that doesn’t work on mobile operating systems;
- Mobile redirects and mobile 404 pages;
- Fast page load times.
Do I need a mobile responsive website?
Mobile internet users who browse on-the-run can have different needs to desktop browsers. Often they are looking for a quick answer: a phone number or address or even a price comparison and so it can be helpful to have a mobile responsive website to suit those users. We do however acknowledge mobile responsive websites are not everyone’s cup of tea. Have you ever found yourself selecting “view full website” because you cannot find the information you are looking for in the mobile focused content? For this reason we consider responsive design to be a personal choice. However, it is important to know that a study released by Google found 72 of users expect websites to work on mobile platforms. If fact, 61 percent will exit a website if it is not mobile friendly. There are many considerations when deciding if responsive web design is right for you, however, we highly recommend you consider a mobile friendly website to help your site to rank with Google.
How does Google view non-responsive websites?
Google is probably the most important reason to ensure your website is mobile responsive. Google, the most popular search engine in use today, announced in April 2015 that the mobile friendliness of a website will impact its Google ranking. Google now penalises websites that display poorly on mobile devises and non-responsive site will suffer negative SEO as a result.
If you are unsure if your website meets Google responsive criteria you can have Google analyse your website here.