Arin Adamson
By Arin Adamson | Web Dev | July 16, 2014

What is Responsive Design?

A daily question that almost every web developer hears: “What is a responsive design and why does my website require it?” Responsive design is a necessity brought about by the age of web-enabled devices. As the number of devices from which we can access the internet grows, compatibility issues grow as well. Every web-enabled device has a different resolution and creates a different experience for users. Repsonsive design is the number one answer to any screen resolution compatibility issues.

Responsive design adapts web elements and website layout to each screen size or resolution. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to access the website on a phone, desktop, tablet or a giant projector, the website will always adapt and be functional on these devices. You can see how this could put you ahead of competitor websites without responsive design.

Responsive Design
In 2013 30% of all web traffic originated from mobile devices and it is estimated that mobile web traffic will overtake all other web enabled devices by 2018. This is a large chunk of internet users and potential traffic. An estimated 70% of all 2.4 billion internet users use the internet daily. That calculates out to 504 million people accessing the internet with mobile devices on a daily basis around the world.

Without a responsive design, your website is missing out on lots of potential website traffic. Mobile users trying to access your website will leave due to a bad, non-responsive experience. This is especially true for eCommerce websites. For example, State Farm increased their conversion rate to 56% across all devices after implementing a responsive design. Horze increased their conversion rate by 19% after they went responsive. The success stories on conversion rates after a responsive design implementation are continuous. Before any class of internet user makes a purchase online, they first want to feel comfortable purchasing products from the website. Helping a user enjoy their experience should be a top priority for an eCommerce website. If a user feels like they are not getting the experience they want, they’ll find another website that provides the experience they are looking for.

Not only does being non-responsive mean that are you missing out on potential customers, it also negatively affects your website’s search engine ranking. Mobile users who land on your website and leave due to a non-responsive design are counted as a “bounce” by search engines. These engines use “bounce rate” to calculate the overall quality of your website. Then, the search engine’s algorithm bases your search ranking heavily off of your website’s quality. By implementing a responsive design, you can decrease the frustration users have trying to operate a non-responsive website, thus decreasing your bounce rate.

Don’t worry: responsive design is here to save the day by ensuring a good user experience. Make sure your website is responsive soon, or your website could be left in the dust.

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