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15 reasons to go responsive in 2013

What is responsive design?

Responsive design is a fluid layout that adapts to accommodate the device it is being viewed on. This is achieved through a series of CSS3 media queries. This website is responsive; try adjusting the browser width and watch how the various elements collapse to fit the new size. With the number of devices growing all the time, the need to adapt to these changes is vital.

In the past, websites were built solely for desktops but with the introduction of smart phones and tablets came many usability issues for websites. According to Jeffrey Veen, CEO and founder of Typekit:

‚ÄòResponsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.’

Responsive design is fast becoming the new standard in the web design industry. By the end of 2013, there are expected to be in excess of 100 million tablet users and over 1.9 billion mobile phone users by 2015.

Here are 15 very good reasons why you should go responsive in 2013:

1. Consistency

The user interface remains the same across all devices and platforms rather than looking fragmented. For example, viewing a site built primarily for desktop on a mobile will look and work differently to its desktop counterpart. This will only serve to confuse and frustrate users. With responsive design, the site looks and feels consistent across all devices. It’s this consistency and familiarity that will help enforce your brand.

2. Improved user experience

We’ve all tried viewing a standard desktop site on our mobiles. The buttons are tiny, the text unreadable and overall, it’s an unpleasant experience from a usability point of view. With a responsive site, content scales to fit the device meaning the UI is now suitable for touchscreens too.

3. Better SEO

Responsive sites have one URL and the same HTML which makes it a lot easier and more efficient for Google to crawl and index content. Things such as back linking are improved due to having one URL. Better SEO will improve the visibility of your website bringing in more traffic and improving conversion.

4. Less time-consuming

With there being just one code to change and one lot of content, developers no longer need to frustratingly carry out changes across all of the site versions.

5. Future proof

New devices are being developed all the time. Building responsively means you no longer need to consider creating a brand new site for another device when it comes on to the market. Businesses who decided to go responsive 18 months ago couldn’t have predicted the introduction of the iPad Mini, yet their websites were built in such a way that easily accommodated the new display when it did come along. Building the foundations for the future now will serve you well in years to come.

6. No need for app development

Apps can be difficult to build and maintain, not to mention expensive. With apps only being ‚Äòdiscoverable’ through app stores, their visibility is also greatly reduced. With responsive design, you no longer need to build a separate app alongside your site.

7. Easier to manage

With one URL, one code and the content remaining the same throughout, this makes managing the site much easier. SEO campaigns are also reduced to one instead of several for each individual site version.

8. No more zooming

Viewing a desktop website on a mobile can prove tricky. Buttons are fiddly to click on and text is unreadable unless enlarged. With a responsive site you no longer need to constantly zoom in and out to view text or images. Buttons and links are the correct size and all text is readable.

9. Increase in mobile devices

With 5 Billion mobile phone users worldwide and Smartphone users increasing by a staggering 42% a year, the mobile phone market shows no sign of slowing down. With more and more devices coming on to the market, having a site that works across all of these will ensure that you are ahead of the game.

10.Flexible imagery

If you are viewing a website on a mobile device that was primarily created for desktop, images will be the wrong size and will not display correctly. This can be a major drawback, particularly in eCommerce where product images are key. With responsive sites, images scale accordingly depending on the device they are on. No more cropped images or incorrect sizes; just beautiful, full-resolution graphics on display at all times.

11.content rich

There is often a common assumption that mobile sites should be a ‚Äòlite’ version of their desktop counterparts, with content and imagery acting as a form of ‚Äòtaster’ for the full site. In the past, this approach was taken due to limitations and to reduce the amount of content. With responsive technology, the mobile site has exactly the same amount of content as the full site so mobile users don’t miss out on anything.

12.Better use of Analytics and reports

Having one site means you can track user journeys much easier and collate reports. Google Analytics is now optimised to work across multiple devices.

13.Money saving

Investing in a responsive site may seem expensive initially, but in the long run you will be saving money on constantly maintaining the main site and its subsidiaries.

14.Improved conversion rates

Conversion rates will improve as a result of going responsive. At the start of 2013 we created a responsive site for one of our clients, Naylors. Stats taken year on year from 2nd to 22nd April revealed some staggering results; on non-mobile devices and tablets, revenue increased by 192%, transactions increased by 101.54% and conversion rate increased by 35.81%. For mobile, there was an 870.55% increase in revenue, a 636.35% increase in transactions and an overall conversion rate increase of 85.76%.

15.Kudos

Anything that improves an online experience will make you a hit among your clients or online users- responsive design does just that. Demonstrating that you are ahead of the game and making innovative, technological changes will make you stand out among the crowd.

Conclusion

Overall, there are many advantages to going responsive and with the continuing rise of tablets and mobile devices, adapting to these changes is important to the survival of any online business. Investing in a responsive website now will ensure your online business keeps up with the constant changes in technology and will save you valuable time and money.

Our words of advice if you're considering going responsive in 2013... do it.

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