When to Use Responsive Web Design

The popularity of mobile devices means that more users are accessing websites on-the-go, and this can present a problem for web designers. How are they supposed to create a one-size-fits-all website that looks great on any display? In the past, many designers would build a mobile-specific site with completely different code, but that takes a lot of time and money. With the advent of responsive web design, however, a webpage can detect a device's dimensions and then adjust for the best viewing experience. You can be reading on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and the page will adapt automatically. 

Below, we've outlined when to use responsive web design, so that you save development time, create a stronger product, and ensure that your website can handle the latest technological breakthroughs.    

Save Time on SEO

Google loves responsive web design, because it makes their job easier. With only one URL to track, the search engine robots can gain a better understanding of the site's content and rank it accordingly. Generally, this results in higher page rankings, because there are less SEO errors when a search engine only has one website to worry about. With a dedicated mobile site, you'll have two sites to manage, which means you'll need to create two SEO campaigns to stay competitive. Why not eliminate the busy-work and boost your page rankings in the process?

Create a Seamless User Experience

Ultimately, designers want their website to feel intuitive and user-friendly on any device. With built-in responsive design, your site will never attempt to load a mobile version by mistake, resulting in page errors and frustration. If you have a separate mobile site, this may cause a higher bounce rate, since users will get tired of reloading your page and take their business elsewhere. However, a responsive site loads quickly and fits to your screen size, so it's a smoother solution.     

Avoid Spending Time on Maintenance

Similarly, if you have two versions of a website and want to fix some bugs, you'll need to take care of each site separately. That's double the maintenance time. Plus, there's always the chance that you forget to include a particular command in the mobile version, which can cause errors and increase your bounce rate. On the other hand, responsive websites always rely on the same code, so they're much easier to update and troubleshoot. When you update a site, the changes will take place instantly across all platforms.    

Future-Proof Your Website

Who knows what our computers and mobile devices will look like in 5 years? With technology changing so rapidly, it's difficult to design websites that stand the test of time. However, a responsive design eliminates some of that guesswork. At the very least, you'll have a website that can adapt to almost any screen or browser. For developers working with the latest smartphones and tablets, responsive web design has been a godsend.   

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