Here at Brunello Creative we've been talking a lot about responsive design lately. It is a hot topic among website designers and agencies. Responsive design is popular now because of the large numbers of tablets and smart phones on the market. Here on our blog, we've talked about how a responsive site can benefit ecommerce businesses and how mobile growth has impacted many companies decisions to redesign their websites to be responsive. It is necessary for developers to think about all the ways information is being viewed.
That being said, let's cover some additional things you need to know about responsive design.
It's not just a trend
Responsive design has been around for several years now, but really came to life in 2012. We will continue to see more and more sites adopt this type of design. It's not about doing what everyone else is doing, but rather doing what is best for your audience. If you see an upward trend of people accessing your site via mobile or tablet, it may be time to consider a site designed to fit their needs.
Responsive sites only need to be designed once
Content only needs to be applied once and the results take place across all platforms. No need for content specific to certain devices based upon screen size restrictions.
Mobile design and responsive design are totally different
A responsive site is a whole web design that can be built once and accessed on any device. Mobile sites are a completely separate entity to a companies main website. It is built up of its own images, content and most likely has its own subdomain. SEO is compromised as a totally different website needs to be optimized. We'll touch on this more a little later.
Responsive design is flexible
A fluid grid-based layout, flexible images and media, and css3 media queries are the core ingredients of responsive design. A responsive website adjusts its layout and features according to how it's being viewed.
Image size and quality are extremely important issues
The quality of the images used is extremely important as well as ensuring images are optimized for web. Images need to be large enough to view on a huge desktop screen, but they eventually get sized down visually for small screens. They are created large but then when viewed on smaller screens page load time is slightly compromised. Adaptive images provides a work around to this problem, however there is no perfect solution - just yet.
Responsive design is good for SEO
Since you'll only have one set of content to manage instead of multiple pages with multiple domains, management will be simpler. Link "juice" and page authority will be preserved. The page will retain its original link authority. No need for redirects which would ultimately take away from any ad campaigns. Take a look at Google's official recommendation of responsive sites and why it's beneficial to SEO.
Provides a consistent URL Structure
Traffic numbers are consolidated to one URL that are used across all platforms thus improving the performance of marketing campaigns. Your desktop and mobile content is provided by a single URL. A single URL makes it easier for your users to share and link to your content. A site with one URL and same HTML is easier for Google to crawl.
If you haven't already, you'll continue to see more articles written and see more sites designed to be responsive. Because of the large numbers of smart phone and tablet users it is imperative that designers and developers consider how people are accessing websites and make them truly accessible from any where on any platform. Responsive design isn't a trend, it is the future of web design.