What is Responsive Web Design?

responsive web design

By Dan Barraclough

Responsive web design is vital for any website to be successful – but what is it?


There are many web design features that can help give your website an edge over your competitors’. One of the latest web design trends is known as mobile responsiveness, and it’s becoming more important than ever.

We’re about to explain what responsive web design is, how it works, and why it’s important for the success of your online business, portfolio, or blog. Without further ado, let’s get started…

What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design involves designing your website so that it reshapes and reformats to look great on screens of all sizes – from desktops to smartphones, and anything in between. With responsive web design, your website will remain simple to navigate, regardless of the device it’s being viewed from.

Using a website builder? Then make sure you choose a platform which offers mobile responsive themes. While most website builders offer this function, it’s worth double-checking. If you’re working with a professional web designer, then make sure they add this feature to your website. Check out these great examples below…

images of facebook, netflix, amazon and bbc news websites

How do responsive websites work?

We’ve all experienced it – you’re surfing the net on your phone, and you come across a website which doesn’t fit on your screen. You have to scroll around to find the menu, or zoom in to read some tiny text. It’s frustrating, right? That’s a non-responsive website, and most internet users don’t respond well to them.

By contrast, a responsive website will reformat so that it performs at optimum efficiency, no matter the size of the screen. The content remains the same, and simply adjusts itself depending on the device. When using a responsive website on your smartphone, you won’t need to pinch to zoom, squint to see, or double-click small buttons.

Check out our graphic below of responsive design in action…

 

an example of a responsive website

It’s worth knowing that your website will show more content on a desktop than it would on a mobile, which means you may lose some content on smaller screens. Our advice would be to keep the most important information at the top when designing your website, so you don’t lose the valuable stuff when your website responds to a different device.

Why is responsive web design so important?

Approximately half of the world’s online traffic share is mobile. And on top of that, there are currently 38 million smartphone users in the UK. That’s a lot of potential clients, customers, and visitors that could be lost due to a non-responsive website.

Think we’re being dramatic? Think again. A recent study found 57% of internet users wouldn’t recommend a business if it had a poorly designed mobile website.

Did You Know?

90% of adults think a website should look better on a mobile than it does on a desktop.

You can already see how important responsive web design is for internet users, but is there anyone else you should be looking to impress? The answer is yes – Google’s algorithms.

These algorithms favour mobile responsive websites, ranking them higher than non-responsive websites. This is because the search engine wants the best possible experience for its users, and therefore makes responsive websites easier to find than non-responsive ones. Simple!

A web designer can do all of this for your website. They have the expertise required to not only make an awesome website, but to keep it looking awesome no matter the device. Implementing a responsive website may sound like a minor task, but it’s worth it in the long run for building brand trust, retaining customers, and simply looking good online.

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Next steps

You now know that responsive web design involves designing your website so that the content reformats to fit within screens of all sizes. The content remains the same – it’s just the layout that reshuffles to give internet users the best experience possible. Ensuring your visitors enjoy your website is known as ‘providing a positive UX (User Experience)’.

You also know that responsive web design is important for two key reasons: Firstly, people really don’t like non-responsive websites because they’re tricky to use.

Secondly, Google prioritises responsive websites on the SERPs (search engine results pages), because it wants internet users to have the best possible experience. Just think – if your website isn’t mobile responsive, you could be risking your ranking on the results page.

Think this all sounds too complicated? Don’t worry. Web designers can make your website mobile responsive with ease.

So, if you’re interested, simply fill in this form – you’ll receive tailored quotes from trusted web designers, so you can find the right designer for you and get your website the positive response it deserves.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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