What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design refers to web sites that are designed and developed to adapt to a users behavior and to work on whatever device the user happens to be using. This means that the site automatically scales to the device in use to provide an optimum viewing experience with a minimum of scanning and panning. Also called mobile ready, responsive websites are not only the norm now but are an absolute essential tool to have in your marketing arsenal. If your website is not mobile ready your bottom line will suffer.
Why the trend to mobile ready responsive sites – The numbers speak for themselves. Internet usage on mobile devices is rising rapidly and the trend will continue. As more web users move away from desktops and laptops to smart phones, tablet and, smart watches, it becomes increasingly more important that your business website keep up with these changes. This is a major paradigm shift for web designers, developers and business owners.
In April 2015 Google introduced a major algorithm update nicknamed “mobilegeddon”, that revamped how sites were indexed and ranked. A major element of the update revolved around mobile readiness. There are several elements that Google tests in order to determine if your site is truly mobile ready. If your site is not mobile friendly your rankings may suffer when web users search on their mobile devices. Since Google is the major player in Search, it benefits your business greatly to abide by their mobile ready initiative.
Google Defines "Mobile Friendly"
In order to qualify for the “Mobile-friendly” tag, a website has to meet the following criteria (which are listed on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog):
- "Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash"
- "Uses text that is readable without zooming"
- "Sizes content to the screen so users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom"
- "Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped"
Also in 2014, Google began tagging results to indicate if a page might not work on a mobile device.
There are e three ways to implement a mobile website, Responsive Design, Dynamic Serving or Separate URL. Responsive design is also (not coincidentally) Google’s preferred mobile configuration.