Building your website means constructing your virtual shopfront. You cannot expect to succeed in today’s business landscape without a website oriented toward selling your products and services.
With 54.8% of web traffic originating from mobile devices in 2021, the gap between desktop and mobile is widening. So it begs the question, “Is your website responsive?”
If not, you are missing out on both traffic and sales. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Responsive Design?
The modern web experience is held up upon the pillar of responsive design. However, since everyone used a desktop to access the World Wide Web 15 years ago, the way websites were designed was different – because it had to be.
Responsive design accommodates the needs of using different devices to access the same website. Its goal is to create a seamless user experience across your smartphone, tablet, and desktop. Despite the fact the visual design changes between devices, all branding and content remain the same.
The tenants of responsive design include:
- Minimal confusion
- Less scrolling
- No panning or zooming
In other words, the responsive design guarantees that your website looks as good on a 20-inch laptop screen as on a four-inch smartphone.
Such a change directly impacts sales, with 70% of visitors saying they are more likely to return to a website if a responsive design is in place.
Benefits of Responsive Design
Contemporary web design is all about the user experience. Your user experience will define your organization’s longevity, whether you are primarily based online or offline.
If you visited a website and it failed to work on mobile, took forever to load, and saw most of its features fail to work, would you consider buying from that business?
Naturally, the answer is no. Here are just some of the reasons why you must invest in responsive design:
- Improve the customer experience
- Reach more customers
- Boost your SEO rankings
- Work on all devices
- More mobile traffic
How to Implement Responsive Web Design
Understanding what responsive design is and why you want to implement it should direct you toward a solution. Hiring a professional web designer or a reputable website maintenance services brand can ensure your business steps into the next generation of web design.
Here’s a brief guide on achieving and maintaining a responsive website.
Step One – Adopt the Fluid Grid
Websites used to be designed with the measurement of pixels in mind. Modern designers use a fluid grid to size elements of your site proportionally. It makes it easier to size for different screens because the elements respond to whatever screen they are being viewed on.
Pixels are static and cannot carry out these functions. The fluid grid scales naturally, with no fixed measurements in place.
By drilling into a website’s CSS, designers can also set rules for their fluid grid.
Step Two – Factor in Touchscreens
Touchscreens have been the norm for some time. Even laptops are increasingly coming with touchscreen capabilities. As a result, designers must think outside the box and consider how touchscreen users interact with a website.
Factoring in finger sizes when clicking dropdown menus and other elements is part of creating a responsive website that works.
Step Three – Determine Elements for Smaller Screens
The most prominent misconception people have about responsive design is that you are replicating your existing website for mobile. Some brands take this approach, but authentic responsive design means reframing and realigning the customer experience for smaller screens.
A responsive website may see condensed menus and navigational tools. For example, the menu may expand to cover the whole screen rather than being a simple dropdown menu.
Set the rules from the start, and your visitors will appreciate that you have gone the extra mile for mobile users.
Step Four – Consider Your Images
Resizing images for responsive web design is one of the most significant challenges designers and business owners must overcome.
Your CSS will need to be modified to determine how images are handled on different devices, so think about this carefully.
Step Five – Predesigned vs. Outsourced
Should you outsource directly to a web designer or opt for one of the millions of predesigned themes for your website?
Every entrepreneur will have this debate with themselves at some point. Of course, each comes with its pros and cons, but your decision will largely depend on your budget.
Hiring a web designer directly will leave you with more maintenance requirements yet more control over the finished product. Independent web designers are the way forward if you search for a truly unique design for your website.
Step Six – Maintenance Requirements for Responsive Websites
Responsive websites themselves come with no additional maintenance requirements. As a result, they have become the norm rather than a more advanced version of the traditional website design.
Make sure you stay on top of your domain and server provider, and your website will remain active. Here are some additional tips for maintaining your responsive website:
- Check the Trends – Be aware of web design trends during your shopping journeys and research. If a new trend appears to be gaining ground, be ready to act quickly.
- Ask Your Designer – Stay in regular contact with your web designer after publishing the finished site. Asking your designer what they think can be improved can reveal new potential competitive edges.
- Be Aware of Your Competitors – Did one of your competitors carry out a rebrand of their website? Compare their new web experience to yours and consider whether changes must be made.
- Talk to Your Customers – Your customers are the most honest people in the world. Are they sending you negative social media comments? Did your last customer experience survey come back bad? Keep your ear attuned to your customers.
Responsive web design has long reached the realm of a must-have. However, you cannot expect success in today’s business landscape without adjusting your website to accommodate mobile devices. As most web traffic originates from smartphones and tablets, not having a responsive web design is crippling your business.
Act now to solve the problem and make your website responsive. Improve the user experience on mobile and watch your sales increase.
Have you made your website responsive yet?