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A responsive website is one that its contents fits gracefully into any screen size without the content being muddled up. The main goal of responsive web development is to render different content to viewers across various screen sizes. If a website is responsive, it displays well no matter the size of the screen of the device viewing it. Users don’t have to manually resize anything to view the full contents of a responsive website.
The concept has been available for many years, but it started gaining more popularity during the mid-2000s when more and more people started making use of mobile devices. When users started making more use of mobile devices, it became a challenge for developers to design individual versions of a website for mobile users, desktop users, and tablet users. To solve the puzzle, they devised a way of making websites respond to any screen size. And the trend has continued to evolve as the number of mobile users have continued to increase.
There are many benefits of responsive web development and design, and we are going to look at some of them in this post.
1. More mobile traffic
More and more people access websites using their mobile devices. What this means is that websites that load well on mobile devices will experience more traffic than those that don’t. No website visitor would like to keep resizing the content of a website to view it correctly, and no website visitor likes to view distorted images. Once a website user’s device cannot load the contents of a website conveniently, the user exits the site, and that results in loss of traffic.
2. Faster mobile development at lower cost
Before responsible web design became popular, companies would usually develop a different website for desktop users and a separate version for mobile users. This practice involved spending a lot of money designing two different applications that perform one function.
But since responsive websites fit into any screen size gracefully, it is way cheaper to develop a single website that caters to all screen sizes than to design many different versions of the same website.
3. Low maintenance costs
Maintaining a responsive website is way cheaper than maintaining two separate websites. With standardized testing methodologies, you can ensure that a responsive website is working well across every screen. But the same can’t be said of when you are developing different websites for different versions. With a different website for each screen size, you also have to worry about creating different content for each of the website versions.
The ‘one-size-fits-all’ maintenance ability that responsive websites offer allows you to focus on other important aspects of your website such as content creation.
4. Faster Webpages
If a website is not well optimized for mobile devices, it will take more time to load, and also more time to navigate across its length. Since mobile users are not the most patient people you could find, you will be losing a lot of visitors because of low page speed.
5. Lower bounce rates
Website users are always on the lookout for the best user experience possible. If they don’t get it, they close the website they are viewing. Responsive websites offer users the best experience, and they often stick around these websites for a much longer time. This means that if you want to see more users spend more time on your website, you should provide them with good user experience through responsive web design.
6. Higher conversion rates
We said earlier that responsive web design helps you lower your bounce rate, and lower bounce rate means that more visitors are spending time on your website. When users spend more time on your website, they are more likely to subscribe to your newsletter, fill the contact form or subscribe to a service or buy a product.
7. Easier analytics reporting
Knowing where your users are coming can help you to improve your product or service. It can also help in key decision making. If you are running multiple websites, it will be a hard task tracking where all your traffic is coming from on the different websites. But having a single website that caters to all screen size simplifies the entire process, and with tools such as Google analytics, you can easily track where all your traffic is coming from on a single dashboard.
8. Improved SEO
In addition to stronger back-links and better bounce rates, responsive web design is another factor that most search engines now use as a criterion for ranking websites into higher search positions. This means that having a responsive website will improve the chances of your website being ranked higher by Google and the other search engines.
9. Improved online browsing experience
If users have to zoom and pinch to view all the contents of your website, then that’s definitely a poor browsing experience, and no one wants that. Remember that the first impression matters a lot, and one of the ways to improve the online browsing experience of your website users is to offer them a responsive design.
10. Improved offline browsing experience
Many modern mobile devices and tablets now come with embedded HTML5. An advantage that HTML5 offer is that users can continue to view the contents of a website even without a strong internet connectivity. If your website is responsive, it means that users can view your content without an internet connection and that’s a lot of positive offline browsing experience.
What does the future hold for responsive web development & design?
As the number of devices on the market continues to increase, there will be improved research to bring web content across these different devices. This means that there will always be continuous improvements in the field of responsive web design. This means that the benefits above are still at the infancy level.
Most recent advancements in responsive design have focused on making content available on different screens. In the future, responsive web design will be concerned about improved conversion rates, ongoing search engine optimization, and the reduction of maintenance costs.
As you are getting more concerned about responsive website development, ensure that you don’t forget users with desktop screens, so that everyone continues to have similar user experience.
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