Do you need a responsive design for your mobile website?

Accessing the internet has become easy for anyone who owns a smartphone. You don’t need a desktop or laptop computer to go online; you need only a mobile device that can connect to the internet. This convenience obviously benefits people who want to view websites without using desktop computers, but the shift from desktop to mobile devices has also affected the field of web design as a whole.

If you plan to create a website, find out how you can reach web visitors by implementing a responsive design.

Responsive Designs Change to Match Device Features

Girl with smartphone

Image via Flickr by rayand

Responsive design has become increasingly popular as more people use smartphones and tablets to access the internet. As of 2016, more than 75 percent of American smartphone owners use their devices to visit websites and use online apps. Analysts expect that percentage to grow over the next several years.

Website developers know that more people rely on mobile devices, so they choose design strategies that will look attractive on smaller screens. With responsive design, your website’s layout will adjust to match the screen size of each visitor’s device. For example, with the LG G5 smartphone and its 5.3-inch Quad HD screen, you can expect your website to look different than on a device with a smaller, less robust display. Coupled with a wireless network such as that provided by T-Mobile, the viewing experience can be greatly enhanced.

Since you can’t expect everyone to use a top-rated smartphone or tablet, you’ll want to base your website on responsive web design principles for best visibility.

You Lose Some Control With Responsive Design

While responsive website designs work well on most mobile devices, you might lose some creative control when you use this approach. When you design web pages for personal computers, you get to decide exactly where images, menus, and pieces of text appear on the screen. Responsive design, however, will rearrange some of your work to make the site more viewable on mobile devices, such as Android smartphones.

The upside to responsive design is that more people can access your site. The downside is that you can’t maintain complete control over the site’s appearance. If you want more control, then you’ll need to create a mobile website. When building a mobile website, you get to decide how elements will appear on screens. Unfortunately, the site won’t adjust to fit each device’s specifications.

Most website developers agree that using responsive design makes more sense than building a mobile-only website. If you want to optimize the experience for as many of your site’s visitors as possible, responsive design can be the best option.

Responsive Designs Take More Time to Create

Mobile websites are as easy to build as websites that people visit on their personal computers. If you know some basic HTML and CSS, you can build a decent mobile site.

Making a site that uses a responsive design, however, takes more time and effort. Building a responsive style sheet is probably the easiest option, but even this element requires in-depth knowledge of HTML and CSS. Of course, you don’t have to learn these skills. You can always have a web design professional build the site for you. However, hiring a pro will cost more money than doing the job on your own.

Responsive Design Can Boost Your Site’s Google Ranking

As the world’s most popular search engine, Google essentially dictates how website developers do their jobs. Over the past few years, Google has favored websites that use responsive designs. The company has also updated its algorithm to benefit websites designed for mobile devices.

If you’re concerned about attracting more traffic to your site, then you should consider a responsive design that will boost your Google ranking. Websites that don’t maintain this design can expect to see page rankings fall over time.

Most website developers agree that responsive design offers significant advantages for Android device owners. If you aren’t trying to make money from your site, you might not want to invest in a responsive design. If you need visitors to return to your website to accomplish some task or purchase from you, however, you should put in the extra effort or investment required to implement a responsive design.