You have probably heard the term “responsive website” and thought sounds nice. For some, your not sure what it is and for others it sounds nice but you may feel you can do without it. Let’s make a deal.
If you review this article and vote at the end, we’ll send you a FREE tool of your choice at the end. The tool will be an E-book on a subject you find interesting. I promise you, this article is not super long.
What do you say? We’re going to present the info and you tell us what’s what and what you think at the end.
Let’s dive in. A responsive website is a website that auto adjusts to any size screen your view is using. This is a huge plus seeing how many people are using mobile and tablet devices to surf the web.
Many marketers and web designers will tell you it has become necessary to design and develop websites with this new target market in mind. You are going to be the judge of that today.
Websites that have not been mobile optimized are generally built with fixed layouts that fit the width of desktop computers and laptops. However, when viewed on a smart phone, a fixed width layout shrinks to fit the screen. Content then becomes harder to read while scrolling on the phone or tablet. Now, that users will need to zoom in and scroll sideways to view everything.
From a paying client perspective, you will have control on how your site is viewed on any format.
Another point is a website that uses large, fixed images that fit a desktop screen will use a lot of data to load when presented on a mobile device. Any mobile users on limited data plans may leave a site that is going to use a lot of their data due to it being mobile optimized.
Responsive website design only requires one set of files and therefore presents the same website on all devices. A responsive website does not have a fixed layout when translated to different screen sizes. For the most part, a responsive website will look fairly similar no matter which device it is viewed on.
From a paying client perspective, this can mean a lot less time is needed to design and develop a responsive website.
Using the same media queries, multiple column layouts on a desktop computer become a single column on a smart phone, text is much bigger and easier to read and the regular menu bar is swapped for a mobile friendly menu bar. Also, smaller images can be presented or images (such as large background images and sliders) can be removed entirely, reducing data use on mobile devices.
WHAT INFORMED DECISION CAN YOU MAKE MOVING FORWARD?
There are generally three options a professional web designer will advise you with when wanting to create a marketing optimized website:
- Responsive web design
- Two separate websites, one for desktop and one for mobile
- A desktop website and an app for mobile devices
A mobile website often looks quite different to its desktop version and therefore takes more time to develop. It also requires a separate set of files on which to present itself in the browser. A mobile website cannot tell the difference between devices and will be presented on larger devices such as iPad and other tablets which many people now use at home, school or work in place of a regular laptop. In most cases, the user can switch to the desktop version, if they can find the link, but they will then be presented with a non-mobile optimized version.
An app version of the website (the third option), may look similar to a mobile version, but is usually not viewed through a browser. Larger businesses, such as big box stores, banks and online stores, may consider having a mobile app developed, but for smaller companies the investment may be too high. Unlike a mobile website and traditional website, updates to an app need to be approved by the end user and may not be beneficial if you need to make frequent updates.
We’ve present brief info on the kinds of sites you can have and how it can help you speak to your potential client best. What are your thoughts?