What is a Responsive Website?

Every business is looking to win in the expanding market of digital media. In the past, the only way to view websites was on a clunky desktop computer. Now, many people access media and information on any variety of devices, especially smartphones and tablets.

As anyone can tell you, if a website isn’t easy to view on the device of your choice, you probably won’t hang around for more than a few seconds.

Enter the responsive website. You may not have heard the term before, but you certainly know the difference between a website you enjoy, and one that’s frustrating to navigate. Here’s what else you need to know:

What is a Responsive Website?

Versatility, Online

Responsive websites are extremely versatile. Rather than forcing visitors to zoom in, zoom out, scroll horizontally, or even flip their screens, the website works with the format they’re using to view it. Whether a visitor uses a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, the website looks more or less the same.

Automatic Adjustment

Not every format is user friendly depending on the device you’re using. Responsive websites compensate for that. By keeping all the same information and images, your visitors get the same experience, but better. A responsive website tailors how visitors see information to best suit the device they’re currently using.

Catering to Each Visitor

Regular, desktop only websites are frustrating for people using mobile devices. A responsive website solves that problem and makes every visit perfectly optimized for how any given visitor wants to browse your content.

How does it work?

Traditional websites use pixels to size each element of the page. This can create problems when people use a device the interface wasn’t designed for. Rather than using pixels and set frameworks, responsive websites use fluid grids and media instead.

This means that each item on the page is sized to a certain proportion, not pixel density. In essence, it allows the website to be seen in correct proportions, as the visitor’s device is meant for.

Does that sound complicated?

It really isn’t when you look at the building blocks of a responsive website. Let’s say you want an image to take up about ¼ of the space of a certain informational section. The informational section is sized to 100%, while the image is sized at 25%. The result is that any visitor sees the website and all its content appears exactly how you intended it to.

Why does your business need a responsive website?

The Customer Experience is #1

A good business should be all about customer service, and that means the customer experience is a big deal. Many consumers begin their first interactions with a company online. Having a website that just doesn’t work for them is the same as having a sales associate that’s trying to sell them your competitor’s products.

The more difficult your website is to navigate, the faster visitors leave. For instance, about 71% of people leave a site immediately if it’s difficult to navigate or find information.

Your Reputation Matters

Word of mouth is important to a business. Over time, it can really make or break you. While people may not gush praises because you have a responsive website, word will certainly spread if you don’t. In time, that can have a negative impact on customers that are willing to try and visit your site.

Making the Most of Your Budget

Costs shouldn’t be the end all be all of what you do for your customers. However, when it comes to responsive websites, you’re saving yourself money, and improving the customer experience. Rather than paying for a separate mobile and desktop version of your site, one responsive site does it all.

Ending “Load Rage”

Let’s be honest: we’re not as patient as we used to be. If a site doesn’t load right away, people leave rather than wait another 10 or 15 seconds. A huge benefit of responsive websites is how much more quickly they load. In the end, it keeps more customers on your site, especially if your competitors aren’t up to speed.

Conclusion

Responsive websites are more than just the next version of ‘mobile friendly.’ In truth, they’re the future of creating an adaptive, satisfying experience online. There’s really no reason not to take the plunge and have a responsive website, although there are more reasons than you can count that you should.

Faster loading, farther reach, better customer experiences, and less cost to you, what’s not to love?

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