Responsive – yet another buzz word in the website development sea of jargon.
Its actually quite simple: your website responds to different screen sizes, ensuring your website looks great on most, if not all devices.
Up to now, web developers have had to build two websites to cater for both desktop and mobile environments, a serious necessity as more business and eCommerce websites are visited on-line by potential customers. If you don’t have a mobile site, chances are your bounce rate is increasing. The problem is that each device has its own set of rules, so the mobile sites have numerous layouts to cater for different makes of phone. When a new one comes out or improvements are made – your mobile site goes for a loop.
Google has also mentioned in a few posts that they prefer one website to crawl. This is Google’s recommended configuration. Your old mobi site is competing with your desktop site and confusing the search engine robot somewhat. You really need to make annotations to tell Google that there are two versions with the same purpose.
Its a crazy, high-tech scramble to get to the top, and with Google Adwords and Facebook advertising practically offering paid-for traffic and massive reporting features – you cant really afford to be left behind with an outdated site too. Web development itself has also evolved to such a point that whatever happens next – us geeks are all saying the same thing; get responsive now because browsing websites on your fridge and television is already available. Tablets and touch screen devices are becoming productivity tools and more users are accessing the web from their smart phones and and smaller devices.
A great read on responsive web design can be found here on Smashing Magazine if you want to dig into the technical details about it.
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