How to Decide if You Need a Responsive Design

In The Pros & Cons of Responsive Web Design, we discussed some of the benefits and potential disadvantages of responsive web design, ultimately concluding that you probably should have a responsive website design.  Today, we’ll talk in more detail about some of the considerations that factor into deciding whether you need a responsive website.  The fact, in general, is that companies still are slow in converting their websites into ones with responsive designs.

Following are some additional factors to consider when deciding whether or not a responsive website design is right for your business:

  • SEO is simplified – If you have different websites for different devices, you’ll have to engage SEO services for all 3.  Remember, Google wants unique websites that provide a great user experience, and it’s not easy or quick to optimize websites.  With 1 set of content and analytics to manage, responsive web design simplifies your internet marketing processes.
  • Google prefers responsive websites – Google is incredibly sophisticated.  Keep this rule in mind:  Google likes websites that provide a great user experience.  Part of providing an exceptional user experience means having the website function well for users of all common web-browsing devices.
  • It offers a consistent experience – If users like your website and visit it across multiple devices, it’s helpful for them to have the same experience.  If your website has 3 variations for different types of devices, they can get confused when accessing your website on each device.  Keep things simple for them because attention is lost quickly in this hyper-connected age.

Reasons You Might Not Use a Responsive Web Design

In general, you are best off for the long-term if you have a responsive web design.  However, there are some reasons you might delay in implementing one, such as the following:

  • It costs more and takes longer – In general, a responsive web design costs more than a non-responsive one.  While your users may expect it, if finances are tight right now, you might consider holding off on the design until a time when cash is more plentiful.
  • Non-responsive designs usually work – Sometimes, they don’t work on every device.  But most often, they display properly enough and function well enough to do the job for now.
  • There is no load-time benefit – The faster a website loads, the better it is for your users, and the more your bottom line improves.  Responsive designs, however, often don’t improve load times over their desktop counterparts.

Change is Coming…Be Prepared to Adapt

Even though responsive designs aren’t a simple, one-size-fits-all solution, they do provide the best overall solution to providing the best user experience possible.  If your company doesn’t have one, you don’t need to get one right now, but if you’re a strategic, long-term thinker, keep in mind you’ll eventually need one.

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