If you’ve spent much time reading about or speaking to people about websites these days you’ve likely run into one or more of the following phrases:
Buzzword bingo, anyone?
These 3 phrases actually all share similar meanings, so we thought it would be helpful to provide answers to the following questions for you:
(For the purposes of this article, we’ll use the term “responsive website”, though the three terms above are often used interchangeably.)
A responsive website is a site that restructures and reorganizes itself based on the type of device someone is using to view your website (desktop, tablet, mobile phone, etc.).
Quite simply, a responsive site adjusts for different-sized screens.
This video illustrates the true magic of a responsive website, and shows you how it automatically and intelligently resizes itself based on the browser size its being viewed in.
As the video plays you’ll notice how fluidly and seamlessly the website restructures itself for desktop, tablet, and phone views.
If you have a non-responsive website, your site always appears exactly as it would on a desktop—which is great on a desktop, but not-so-great on a mobile phone.
On a phone’s small screen, your site is teeny tiny, making it very difficult to use.
View of non-responsive website on a desktop:
View of the same non-responsive website on a mobile phone:
When a site is built responsively, these problems are solved. They display content in user-friendly formats, regardless of the device that’s being used.
View of responsive website on a desktop:
View of the same responsive website on a mobile phone:
View of the same responsive website on a tablet (iPad):
Responsive design may not matter for your business.
More and more people are using mobile devices to view websites. Check out these findings:
So, what’s the takeaway here?
Using mobile devices to view websites is not a passing fad. The trend is growing, and fast. If you don’t have a responsive site yet, you may be affecting your bottom line. So, it’s extremely important to keep this trend in mind.
There are several steps you can take to figure out if responsive design is something you should consider:
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, it’s probably time to get an outside opinion.
The good news is your business may not need a responsive website right now—even if you answered “yes” above.
We have clients who we’ve advised to actually stay with their non-responsive websites.
The reasons vary.
Sometimes, their mobile percentages just don’t justify it. Other times, their target customers just don’t use mobile devices to research their types of businesses. And other times, they have a complex website that would exceptionally costly to change.
Bottom line: Upgrading to a responsive website wouldn’t make the best use of these clients’ time and money.
And that leads me to the bad news: Time and money.
There is typically a significant amount of work that goes into upgrading a non-responsive website into a responsive website. It often means reworking the code of your site from scratch—a time-consuming task—and it’s rarely cheap.
If you reach out to our Denver web agency, the question we’ll help you answer is: Will upgrading our current website so that it becomes a responsive website truly offer enough of a return to make it worth the investment?
And of course, if you’re planning a new website, be sure to look for a web agency partner that can help you design and build a responsive site from the beginning. This will save you time and money in the long run.