Responsive web design is a term that is used to determine the level of optimization of a certain website. In other words, responsive web design refers to how well a website can adjust to different viewing screens and devices. Long gone are the times when people were accessing the web only from their desktop PC. Now, websites are expected to function properly on almost any device that has the ability to access the web, including: Mobile devices, Tablets, PC's and TV's
Basically, today people access the web from a variety of different screens, and expectations regarding website optimization have changed. Users expect the website they visit to adjust to them, regardless of what kind of device they use to connect. That’s where responsive web design steps in.
How responsive websites work
Responsive web design resembles the approach taken to design the website in a way in which the website would adapt its layout to the particular viewing environment. Elements such as content, design, and performance, are vital for the web viewing experience to be optimized across all devices. Below, I’ll share an example in layman's terms of a responsive vs non-responsive web page:
Responsive web page
An ordinary website consists of a set of files, and each web page (about page or home page is an individual file). Each file consists of an HTML code and content which comes in the form of images and text. Every web page is decorated with files known as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). A web page has a set of CSS files that shape the look of the website. Now, a responsive web page has an alternate set of CSS files that are applied to respond to the type of device being used to access the site.
Unresponsive web page
An unresponsive web page has a singular set of CSS files that applies to all types of devices used to access the website. The lack of alternate CSS files makes the website unappealing on some viewing devices.
Simply put, a responsive website is adjusted to provide its users with the best user experience regardless of which device they use to access the website.
Why you need to consider switching to responsive web design
The traffic to your website is probably becoming more diverse with each passing day. People are using their mobile devices as their primary social connection tool nowadays, and having your website optimized for responsiveness is only going to bode well for you. Studies by Google have confirmed that any kind of business, regardless whether it is small, medium or large, needs to be a responsive website. If you don’t take my word for it, just consider the following:
- 57% of all users claim that they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly mobile-optimized website.
- 57% of all US traffic online comes from smartphones and tablets.
- 60% of all B2B search queries are made on smartphones.
In order to keep your competitive edge, it’s obvious that you need to make extra efforts to make your website optimized for responsiveness. Allow your visitors to enjoy a one-of-a-kind user experience, regardless of what kind of device they use to access your website.