Is responsive design important?

Responsive web design refers to techniques used to build a website which automatically transforms to fit whatever devices is being used to view it. That could be a smartphone, tablet, phablet, netbook, laptop, desktop, internet TV or something we haven’t even thought of yet. But is responsive design important? Short answer: Very. For the longer answer read on…

For an example of responsive design visit the Derby Private Health website we made from a smartphone and then again from your computer.

Responsive design loves smartphones

Currently around a third of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices which is an increase of 67% since last year. Some estimates have even set mobile traffic to eclipse desktop web use by the end of 2014 meaning that having a responsive website is increasingly important.

Responsive design is future-proof

One of the great things about responsive is that the design of the site adjusts to whichever device happens to be viewing it rather than being targeted at specific phones and tablets. This means that when the next great smartphone comes along with a different size screen your site will be ready from day one without needing to be converted again.

Responsive design can make site admin easier

Responsive design alters the front-end of your website rather than providing different versions of the entire site. In the past it was common to provide different versions of websites, the ‘main’ version and secondary mobile version. The problem with this is that you essentially end up with two sites to keep updated, responsive web design takes care of this meaning you only need to make updates and add content to your site once.

Responsive design is SEO friendly

Google is putting more and more emphasis on design when ranking websites. Google always wants to provide the best sites to searchers and this increasingly means a site which works well when being viewed on a smartphone. Back in 2012 Google officially recommended using responsive web design and in July 2013 they announced that sites that are not mobile friendly would start seeing demotions in search rankings.

So is responsive design important enough to bother with?

The answer has to be yes. If you want to make life easier for your users while making sure your site ranks well in Google you should defintely consider responsive design a priority.