Today there are more people browsing websites on mobile and tablet devices than on desktop computers, and the numbers are increasing each year.
This means that it is essential that your website is designed to be responsive, or mobile friendly, in order to compete in today's internet market..
Google's definition of a responsive website...
Responsive web design: Serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can render the display differently (i.e., “respond”) based on the screen size.
Responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern.
This is not just a recommendation, it is an essential requirement if you are to succeed in today's competitive internet market. If you don't have a mobile friendly website then you risk getting penalised in search engine rankings. In fact, as of April 21st 2015, Google is now giving priority to those websites that are mobile friendly when searched for on a mobile device.
This is why all our business websites are now designed to be responsive as standard, including this one.
When a none responsive website is viewed on a mobile, it does not fit evenly on the screen, which makes it difficult to view the whole page without enlarging and scrolling side to side. The text will also be too small to read, and so most visitors will simply go to another website.
A responsive website auto re-arranges the page content to stack vertically on the mobile display, making it fit within the natural width of the mobile. This allows the viewer to simply scroll up and down to read the text which remains fully readable.
A website can only be responsive if it uses technology such as fluid grids and flexible images. This requirement has also created a change to the design style of websites. Gone are the days of highly graphical websites with complex images and graphics. There is a new trend towards a more linear design style which allows the page content to stack easier on mobile displays. It also reduces the display time and bandwidth that would otherwise cost the mobile user more in data charges.
Using a responsive website also means that you are considering the needs of the mobile user who does not have the time or the patience to navigate through countless pages and scroll through endless images and text. It is important therefore to consider maintaining a consistent and concise approach to your content. This means reducing the number of graphics where appropriate, and keeping the text content brief and informative. You can always include links for extra detail where needed. This also has the advantage of improving the speed and efficiency of your site, as well as making it easier and cheaper for you to maintain.