What Is Responsive Web Design & Why Do You Need It?

Almost every new client these days wants a mobile version of their website. It’s practically essential after all: one design for the BlackBerry, another for the iPhone, the iPad, netbook, Kindle — and all screen resolutions must be compatible, too. In the next five years, we’ll likely need to design for a number of additional inventions. When will the madness stop? It won’t, of course.

Do you really need to design a new site for every different device?

No, you do not! Responsive web design is a relatively new approach to website design that ensures users have a good viewing experience no matter what type of device they’re using. It’s become increasingly important over the last few years as mobile device ownership has exploded and traditional PC sales have slowed. And now that Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in its search results algorithm, it’s essential to make sure your site is optimized for mobile by using responsive design.

The design instinctively adapts to the device it is being viewed on so it looks great on a mobile, tablet and desktop.

With responsive websites, a cascading style sheet (CSS) — essentially what defines the format and layout of a web page — is leveraged to permit a website to scale to the width of a browser, independent of device type. Javascript and js libraries such as JQuery are also used to accompany this behavior for resizing more dynamic objects like galleries as well as converting mouse activities to touch activities.

Why is a responsive website better than a mobile website?

  • Responsive sites work effectively on whatever device they are viewed on.
  • Responsive websites load faster than a mobile website – saving valuable seconds.
  • Google says, ‘40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.’
  • A single responsive website is more effective and less time consuming than a desktop and mobile website:
    - one site to update.
    - 1 site to optimize for search engines.

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