Multiple devices spurt the need of Responsive Web Design
Today, there are an incredible number of devices available in the market like Desktops, Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, Phablets, Smart watches and so on… the list is endless. All these devices have brought about a radical change in the way people access online information and view websites. Earlier desktops and laptops were popular but today mobile devices rule the roost. This means that businesses need to model their web content and design in such a way that they offer the best online experience to users for their products and services. So, the question is that when people view sites from a plethora of devices, how do you ensure a consistent experience across all devices? This is where the role of Responsive Web Design comes into play. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach in which a website’s layout adapts to the size of the viewer’s screen and helps to create an optimal viewing experience irrespective of the device of the user.
Defining Responsive Web Design (RWD)
According to Wikipedia, Responsive Web Design is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience - easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). A site designed with RWD adapts the layout to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images and CSS3 media queries.
Wikipedia further elaborates that Responsive Web Design is becoming more important as the amount of mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of total internet traffic. The importance of RWD can be gauged from the fact that Google has begun to boost the ratings of sites that are mobile friendly if the search was made from a mobile device.
With increasing penetration of mobile phones and higher usage of mobile sites as well as mobile apps (both in urban and rural India), the online retailers have no choice but to adopt a mobile-first technology. In fact, many online retailers are receiving as much as 70% of their traffic through mobiles and reputed marketplaces have opted to go for mobile sites or even mobile-app- only-strategy.
Some facts about the mobile landscape in India
- Mobile Internet users in India: Currently, 159 million & expected to grow to 314 million by 2017
- India has the 3rd largest Internet user base in the world; 50 per cent are mobile-only Internet users
- 3G subscribers in India: 42 million in 2013 to 284 million by 2017
- The number of people who own mobile phones is greater than the number who own personal computers
- Analysts expect the M-commerce market in India to grow at a CAGR of approximately 71 per cent over the period 2012-16
It is can be easily said that in India, Internet is finding its way to reach the masses through mobile devices. Development of mobile sites and apps is the need of the hour for online merchants. StoreHippo foresaw this trend and its mobile ready architecture makes the sites inherently suitable for mobiles, and thus the retailers do not have to develop a separate site for mobile devices. It saves time, money and resources. It also removes the hassles of maintaining a separate site for mobile and another for desktop. The wide usage of Smartphones and tablets with advanced web-browsing capability has brought forth the need to build mobile friendly websites; and with it there is a need to change the approach towards site design and make it responsive in order to give the users the comfort of viewing sites from any device.
Key aspect of higher Google ranking
Making a responsive site gives the site a higher ranking in Google search. It is important for all businesses to rank higher on the search engines in order to garner more traffic and gain valuable leads. When you build only a single version of your site which works across all devices, it becomes easier for Goggle to crawl, index, and organize content. A single URL optimizes your site for SEO purpose also. If you develop a separate mobile site with different URL then Google will have to crawl and index various versions of the same site. Also, one URL makes it easier for the end users to interact with your site.
Saves from duplicate content penalties
If you maintain more than one version of your site, you are giving an open invitation to Google to penalize you for having duplicate content
which can make your site look like a spam to Google and makes you go down in the search listings.
Optimal user experience
Responsive Web Design gives a great experience to the users. They get the convenience of viewing your site from any device and still get a seamless browsing experience. Satisfied users are likely to engage more on your site. Happy users and customers give good reviews and ultimately it leads to more traffic, improved brand image, higher sales and profits.
Great for SEO and management
When you develop a single site for mobiles and desktops, it is far easier to manage. You need one SEO campaign and the same set of keywords need to be developed. Managing SEO for two sites is cumbersome and doesn’t produce the desired results. One can focus on all aspects of development of one site rather than two sites.
Responsive sites save your precious time, money and energy. It may be little costly to build a responsive site but if you make separate versions then it will lead to much higher costs. In case you need to push an upgrade or change the design/content as per changing user preferences and trends, then it is required only for a single site. RWD reduces the time taken and the resources required for development.
This is but natural. A responsive design gives a seamless performance on all devices and makes it easier for users to interact with your site. The site gets better rankings in search engines and is SEO friendly. It will certainly lead to higher sales and revenue for the company.
Beat the competition
Many websites are still not responsive. The technology is relevantly new and many are not aware of its advantages. You can outdo the competition by developing a responsive website design and garnering more visitors to your site.
Add years to your website
Since responsive sites work well across a multitude of devices, it can be safely concluded that it will cater to the customers for a long time to come. Without it, you are bound to lose your hold on your target market. So, it makes complete sense to develop a responsive mobile site. It is a long lasting approach to site design and is a valuable, cost-effective tool for entrepreneurs!