What is responsive design? It is designing, or redesigning a website to adapt to the various screen sizes of different devices (desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, game consoles and mobile phones) and give your users a consistent experience across all of their devices and screen sizes.
Responsive Web Design: Think Mobile First
If your website doesn’t work well on all mobile devices, you are missing out on and frustrating a significant percentage of your audience. Mobile internet use is rapidly expanding. Recent statistics show that a growing number of people only go online with their smartphones and rarely use a full size laptop or desktop computer.
If you own a local business in an area that is a vacation destination, like Cape Cod, your number of visitors from mobile devices might be significantly higher during the tourist season.
Mobile Traffic To Local Sites Growing Faster Than To Total Internet, Now At 27 Percent
“PC traffic is flat, mobile is gaining rapidly and mobile is heavily used for local search”
“zero-percent growth in PC Internet traffic since 2011”
“Traffic to local sites is growing faster than mobile traffic generally across the internet.” — (source)
The difference between having a separate mobile website and a responsive design website is that most mobile websites are designed with small screens of mobile phones in mind. Your mobile site may work great on small screens and your desktop site might work great on a full size laptop screen, but what about users on iPads and other tablet devices? They’re caught somewhere in between two websites.
There are new devices with different screen sizes coming out all the time. Having multiple versions of your website for different users means you have multiple websites to keep updated. If you have a responsive website, you have one version of your website that looks and works great on every device.
Don’t just take my word for it…
Google’s opinion is that you should have one website, a responsive website. Why? For SEO. If you have multiple versions of your website, you basically have multiple website URLs (website.com, mobile.website.com, m.website.com, etc..). This means your users will be linking to and sharing links to different versions of your website which sends mixed signals to Google.
You can use this tool to see how your website looks on different sized devices. If you have a website that doesn’t work well on all mobile devices, you need a redesign and an upgrade. Get a responsive website.