Responsive Web Design; what does this mean for the future of online websites?
You may or may not have heard the term responsive web design; which ever way, this is the way forward for online businesses and website owners. There are many reasons for changing the way websites are designed and in turn will have an unprecedented effect on web development aspects.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is best described as a flexible framework that enables a website to dynamically change the look and usability for the end user dependant on which device they choose to view you site on, including, tablets, iPads, Mobile Phones, Note books etc. So no matter what the size of screen or type of device that is used to browse a site, the layout of the page will always look and work effectively.
So, why all of a sudden has there been a change in web design trends?
Well, with the number of different types of devices that can now be used to browse the Internet, the way in which web pages are built will have to change. If for example, the more traditional, yet static website is continued to be used in terms of web design and development, websites themselves will not look as professional as they could do and because of this, there needs to be a change in the way that websites are developed.
How will Responsive Web Design Effect Web Development?
Responsive web design means that online companies do not need to develop their website for other platforms, i.e. mobile, tablet etc. This will inevitably affect online marketing agencies in terms of changing/adding to the services that they currently offer and therefore will require web developers to be able to develop responsive web sites. Responsively designed websites will ensure that all web pages correspond with one another and therefore, there will be less actual web development due to less coding involved, as ‘one size, will fit all’ as they say.
Responsive web design is only a good thing for website owners as pages are now all in-sync with one another; the number of times you can come across a website that simply does not fit with other platforms is remarkable and it looks extremely unprofessional. This way online business’s can be sure that their website works effectively across all devices!
Advantages of Responsive Web Design
As an owner of a website, it can be relatively difficult/time consuming to change content for several devices using different CMS systems; responsive design allows you to manage content from one single CMS system.
Responsive web design enables users to get the best experience regardless of how they choose to browse the site and therefore, companies should now be thinking about investing in a responsive website.
Having a non-responsive website will have you analysing each of the platforms interface in terms of design and content, meaning many hours are wasted, which is often very costly for online businesses.
Will Responsive Design Affect Your Online Marketing?
Websites not being built in a responsive design aspect could find themselves further down the search engine rankings in comparison with a website built in responsively; Google puts the end user first when deciding on websites ranking. This though would only be an issue in the mobile/tablet market as Google has already been quoted as saying in a mobile search market, sites designed for mobile (including responsive sites) would fair better in natural listings when compared to standard desktop sites trying to compete.
Future of Web Design & Development
Companies that in future choose to stick with more traditional website design will undoubtedly see you lose out; the number of people browsing the Internet using additional devices other than laptops and computers have increased year on year and bearing this in mind, companies should adopt to consumer trends.
Dan is the author of this article and has many years experience in the Web Design industry, including designing mobile and responsive websites for businesses all across the UK.