If you don’t know what a responsive website is, and your business doesn’t have one, then you might be one of the last companies to do so. Responsive design has been a big trend for a good few years, and has been getting more and more important as the number of smartphone users increases. Here’s why you absolutely need to make that upgrade for 2019.
What is responsive design?
Simply put, responsive design can adapt to whatever surface it is shown on. This means that the website will be perfectly suited to a landscape layout when seen on a laptop or computer, but when seen on a smartphone, it will also be perfectly suited to a portrait layout. The menu, page content, and all other elements will move around in order to create the best possible viewing experience for your visitors.
There are so many different types of devices and screen sizes out there now, so it’s not enough to simply prepare a mobile version and a desktop version of your site. Responsive design is flexible enough that it changes based on how you view it. This means you will be sure that your website always looks good and is easy to use, no matter what device the visitor is using.
This is hugely important because it affects the way that your potential customers access your website. If the design isn’t responsive, then it might be difficult to navigate the website or even read text using a smartphone or tablet. If you’re still wondering whether it’s important to care about this, keep reading.
Smartphone users now outnumber desktop users
How are most of your customers getting to your website? If you believe that it’s through a computer, then sadly, you’re wrong. Statistics show that the number of people accessing websites through a smartphone has now outgrown those using a desktop. The fact of the matter is that we now consider it natural to visit sites through our phones, and that habit looks set to increase rather than decrease. Except for work purposes, many people now consider laptops and desktop computers to be unnecessary.
This means that if your design is not responsive, it’s not just that it doesn’t work properly for some visitors – but for most visitors. In other words, you’re cheating yourself out of potential customers by showing them something poorly laid out and hard to access. You could even say that you’re wasting money on paying for something that only suits the minority of potential customers.
Mobile page speed matters
When you have a responsive web design, this also means that things are optimised for use with mobile devices. While a laptop might be able to load in clunky images and videos, and allow complicated scripts to settle into place, this is not the case for a smartphone – which might struggle to load the page quickly, if at all.
Responsive web design, however, makes sure that everything is compressed and suitable for viewing no matter what. Images will be cropped down and resized, so the page doesn’t have to load a huge image before it can be viewed. This decreases the load time and ensures no interruption of the visitor’s experience.
This is extremely important for 2019 because Google’s search algorithm now takes mobile page loading speed into account. In other words, if your website loads slowly on a mobile device, it will no longer rank highly in search results. And since most of your customers will be searching on their phone instead of their laptop, this now means that they might find it difficult to find you at all. This change happened in July 2018, so it is relatively new – meaning you might even get ahead of the crowd if you adapt as soon as possible.
It’s modern and reassuring
Want to reassure your customers that you know what you’re doing? That you’re able to provide them with great service because you keep up to date with modern technology and trends?
Having an unresponsive website is one of the quickest ways to ensure they don’t feel this way at all. A mobile visitor coming to your website, and finding it laid out for a desktop, might just navigate away straight away. You’ll be seen as a dinosaur in design terms – and no one wants to buy from a dinosaur. Why would they? Businesses that don’t keep up with the times are usually the ones that fall by the wayside of progress.
Having a responsive site design means that your potential customers can find you more easily, have a more enjoyable experience while browsing your website, and will be more inclined to buy from you. If that’s not enough of a reason to upgrade in 2019, we don’t know what is.