Why responsive websites are the only option.

We’ve recently completed a proposal for a client, who didn’t fully understand the benefits of responsive, and wanted to know why this had to be included in their website overhaul. Which led us to believe, that a lot of people don’t fully understand the importance of responsive design.

While each project is unique, the overwhelming truth is that in South Africa, the majority of internet users are connecting via their mobile devices, some of which are smartphones, while others are merely smart enabled. Unfortunately, as web has advanced, and most big companies have adopted a responsive approach to website, end users have come to expect a rich, full experience that has been crafted for their specific device.

Scrolling horizontally on your phone to view a desktop optimised site? People just aren’t willing to do that anymore. The traditional solution to this problem has been developing adaptive sites, which rendered different websites based on your device, or the development of stand alone mobi sites. With over 900 recognised screen sizes, this is not a viable option.

So, what exactly is responsive web design?
It’s the practice of designing and developing a single site, to automatically optimise to the device that the end user is using. This has a long list of benefits, so we’ve decided to focus on the 5 that most resonate with us.

  1. Google recommends responsive web design.
    In fact, Google refers to responsive web design as the industry best practice. That’s a substantial claim, and considering that Google generates 67% of search traffic, and scores your website based on mobile friendliness when determining your page rank, this is probably one of the single most important reason to take responsive web design seriously.
  2. User Experience.
    Each user is met with an enjoyable experience, and user journeys that are crafted for their devices. Easily accessing menus, forms and buttons etc, will reduce the amount of website drop offs considerably.
  3. Easier, more cost effective maintenance.
    With a single site, changes to websites are made once only. Which saves you time and money, while also reducing the likelihood of errors, or omissions.
  4. Higher conversion rates.
    Less frustration while accessing your site from a mobile device will engage your potential customers for longer, which means that they are less likely to leave your site and head to a competitor to find a fit to purpose mobile offering.
  5. Consolidated analytics and reporting.
    One website, one digital marketing strategy, and one set of reports to measure the efficacy of your marketing endeavours. Google allows for responsive tracking, condensing your data into a single report. This essentially means optimisation throughout user journeys, conversion paths, funnels and redirects, can be implemented once to immediately see effects across various platforms.