A company’s online image has a lot to do with how successful it is. If you thought hard work and a positive attitude were all you needed to make it, in this tech-driven world, that’s simply just not the case anymore.
It was just a simple switch to a particular shade of blue that landed search engine Bing $80M in annual revenue. And get this, one study found that 75% of internet users make judgments on a company’s credibility based on the look of its website within the first 3.42 seconds of landing there. In other words, how your website looks is detrimental to the success of your business.
Ever head to a website on your phone only to leave because the images, text, and menu are all jumbled up? Since 90% of global internet users (4.32 billion people) browse the internet on their phones, having a website that’s compatible is kind of a no-brainer.
But it’s not just phones we’re talking about here. People use iPads, BlackBerry, netbook, and other devices too, and you can bet that if your website isn’t easy to navigate on any of them, they’ll be promptly clicking over to one that does.
This is what responsive website design is all about. It’s a form of web design that works with the user’s behaviours and adjusts the site according to their screen size, orientation, and platform.
Since you can be sure that even more devices will pop up in the years to come, choosing responsive website design for your business is an important part of keeping and landing new customers continuously. Thankfully, you don’t have to choose which customers to target, ie. iPhone users versus BlackBerry. You can have them all.
What is Responsive Website Design (RWD)?
So what’s involved with responsive web design? It gets pretty techy, but basically, it’s all about flexibility. Grids that switch orientation with your phone, images that adjust to your screen size, and permissions on the site that won’t restrict access. Each page on your website has its own file, and each of those files contains HTML code, text, and images.
As a whole, websites have what’s called Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS. Non-responsive websites only have a few CSS files that control how the site looks, whereas a responsive website will have additional sets that jump into action for alternative devices, orientations, etc.
When used successfully, the result is seamless browsing and an experience that’s equally as clear regardless of what kind of device or platform users are on. It means that photos will be the right size, text will be in the right place, and the menu may shift to one that’s more screen-friendly — whether that means switching from banner to a dropdown.
In the last 10 years, our phones have become so much more technologically advanced, integrating helpful features that just make life easier. But here’s the thing, for websites, that means businesses have a lot more they need to think about with the design of their site.
For instance, when iPhone users click a phone number, their device prompts them to call it. If your site doesn’t respond that way, it’s not the end of the world. But it’s just one more thing someone who’s become accustomed to this feature has to do to get in contact with you. And if there’s one thing you want as a business, it’s to make getting in touch as easy as possible.
A responsive website will take all of these factors and automatically apply them depending on the device, platform, resolution, screen size, and orientation that’s currently accessing its data.
Why Choose Responsive Website Design?
Why does your business need responsive web design? You’ve already read some of the perks, but at the end of the day, it’s all about giving the person who’s browsing your site a pleasant experience and making it easy for them to find what they came looking for.
As a business, it’s all about attracting and keeping customers. However large your company is, we can all agree on that. Using a responsive web design ensures that you’re attracting the widest audience possible, plus, it gives you an edge over companies that don’t.
And if you still need convincing, get this: Google actually uses a website’s mobile-friendly nature as part of its ranking system. Meaning that if yours isn’t compatible with a phone, your page will rank lower on its page.
A study that used the behaviours of billions of users found that 28.5% of people click on the first link that comes up on Google. 15.7% of folks click on the second link, while 11% click on the third. This number only decreases as you go down the page.
If you’d like to see the importance of responsive website design for yourself, go ahead and open up any business’ web page on your phone or tablet. It’s not a surprise that so many businesses choose this style of design, so it won’t be hard to find one that works seamlessly on your device.
Are There Alternatives to Responsive Website Design?
There’s truly no reason not to use this style of web design. Most likely, people that don’t use it simply aren’t aware of it and what it can do for their business.
These days, RWD is included on a lot of website building platforms. If you’ve ever used a website builder yourself, most likely, the hosting platform will have integrated RWD into your site already, and you’ll have had the option to view it from a computer, mobile, and tablet’s perspective before it goes live.
A more modern necessity, older websites typically won’t involve this style of design if they haven’t been updated, and no matter which device you access it from, the page will remain the same — meaning tiny text, squished menus, and minuscule images that need a few pinches to zoom in on.
Considering that 88% of internet users say they won’t return to a website after one (just one!) bad experience. First impressions count. A lot. Whether you create your own site through a website builder like Squarespace and Wix, or hire a team to take the stress and questions out of the process completely, do your business a favour and choose RWD.
If you have any questions about RWD, how it works, and what it can do for your business, contact us.