The Pros & Cons of Responsive Web Design

You may be hearing talk lately about responsive web design and wondering if it’s right for your business. In this article, we break down the pros and cons of a responsive website to help you determine if the strategy solves your business marketing needs.

What is responsive web design?
Responsive websites have specific back-end coding and technology that stretches, shrinks, and visually adjusts the layout of a website when viewed on various non-PC devices, like mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, or smart TVs. Though responsive websites use the same basic HTML code as their PC-based counterparts, small changes to the site’s CSS determine how the content is displayed on different devices.

The Pros of Responsive Website Design
• Using a responsive website structure eliminates the need to develop a separate mobile website. This means not having to reprogram your website from the ground up, which in turn means saving on web development costs.

• Responsive websites resize images, text, forms, and buttons to maximize screen space so text is easy to read, images compliment the screen size, and buttons are easily selectable. 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 fit in with today’s web standards. Websites that are laid out only for computers can look dated and difficult to manage when uploaded to modern mobile devices.

• You only need to update your website content in one place. Because a responsive site is just a standard website with additional coding, content updates don’t need to be done on separate mobile and static websites.

• Using a responsive website can also have a positive impact on your website’s SEO. Because it’s the same content as the static site, search engines don’t need to crawl both mobile and static websites.

• It’s easier to make sure that you’re getting the right content in front of your customers at the moment they want it, especially if your business is doing an email marketing campaign. Many users read their emails while waiting in line or commuting and they can easily navigate to your website and have an enjoyable experience instead of needing to remember to return to your site at a later time.

The Cons of Responsive Website Design
• Sometimes responsive sites call for web components to be scaled down and cause certain pages to be inaccessible. 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 just visually scaled down and not re-sized for fastest load times, smartphones and tablets can notice a lag in loading speeds, especially when being used 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, Responsive Web Design FAQ for more information on whether it’s appropriate for your business. Bop Design offers responsive web design services that integrate seamlessly into existing websites or packaging a new website development with responsive coding built in.


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