Wikipedia defines responsive website as “Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes.”
About a decade ago, websites were built to be viewed on desktop computers. Coming years got it to be adjustable for laptops as well, but they were never meant to be viewed on mobile phones.
In this modern technological wonder that we live in, technology is changing and improving so fast that it’s hard to keep up with it. There are so many ways a user can access a website. It can be from laptop, desktop pc, tablet, Phone, TV etc. Not only that, there are so many different mobile phone versions also with different screen size, resolution, operating system, notches, different refresh rate and what not. Imagine If we had to keep up and make a new version of our website for every present and new incoming device. that would be a full time permanent job with a lot of messy front-ends.
This is where responsiveness comes in handy.
What is Responsive Website:
To simply put: A responsive website or a responsive web design adjusts to the screen size it is being displayed on.
The website code is put in a manner that whatever screen size it is being displayed to, it adjusts the text accordingly, that user does not have to zoom in to view the text.
It also means excluding or including things that suit according to the size of the display. For example, modify top navigation to become a slider. If clicked it will show the main menu.
Similarly images can be excluded or adjusted according to the screen size. That makes user experience quite enjoyable.
Why is responsive web design important:
- 52% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones in 2018. (source) and that number is increasing day by day. People are always on the go and want to access information even when they are sitting in a subway or a taxi or even in the bus.This means if you do not have a mobile ready website, you can loose 52% of the traffic and are already out of the competition.
- If the above mentioned reason is not enough, responsive website is important because google says so. Google ranks responsive websites higher than the ones that are not. And google is right. Googles main purpose is to show its user relevant information. If your website has great content but mobile users cannot view it properly then whats the point? So google always looks for best content that is available on a responsive website.
- Digital advertising also requires, and is more effective with, responsive websites. If your ad is clicked on a tablet, it should be able to show relevant information in a presentable manner, otherwise it will be waste of time for the reader and the advertisers will call it waste money.
- Better conversion rates: Since the website is responsive, it is more accessible and more easy to read. Your message reaches out to the audience whenever, however they want to. This means they are more likely to be your customer than a disgruntled visitor who abandons your website the moment he sees an out of balance website that he finds difficult to read.
- Low maintenance cost: If you had a separate website version for mobile, desktop and tablet, and you want to update some text, you would have to make the same change three times. On the other hand, whatever change you make in your responsive website, it will be reflective in all versions of the website automatically. hence the lower maintenance cost.
61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.(Source)
Some useful stats
- Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. (Jody Nimetz Co., 2018)
- More than 46% of Americans will check their smartphone before getting out of bed. (Tech Times, 2017)
- Over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone. (Google, 2018)
- 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. (Junto, 2019)
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. (Junto, 2019) (Source)
How to check if you have a responsive website?
Now that we have established the importance of mobile ready website,the next step would be to check if your website has responsive design or are you running your business down because of that limitation.
Here are a few tried and tested ways to check your mobile readiness
Open Website on your mobile
The simplest way would be to access your website on a mobile device, preferably a device with small screen. See if your website assets adjusted accordingly, or if it is the same as desktop version
If the difference is visible like the above images, your website is responsive. Be sure to checkout all pages to see if there is an anomaly.
But if you see your website like the one below, where text is too small and difficult to read and layout is a little messy, Time for change is here.
Other than that there are loads of free and paid tools available to check your website’s responsiveness.
Am i responsive is a visual online tool where you simply have to enter your website’s address. It will visually show you the result. you can check if your web design is responsive or not.
Website responsive test also shows your website as if it is being displayed on a mobile phone. Since it only focuses on mobile version, it is more clearer to check if you’re website fits the criteria or not.
Perhaps the cleanest of all automated testing sites is responsinator. I like it because it shows clear and big scroll-able mobile versions of what your website looks like. It also shows you a landscape version of your website (if someone browse websites that way)
We at Octa Digital solutions are running a free website evaluation on whether or not you need any update to make your website responsive or are you good to go. Not only that, our experts dive deep into your website and check all possible problems that are causing a low conversion rate for you. Did i mention its free for now ? All you have to do is give us your website link. Our experts will analyse your website for responsiveness, Page load time, Keywords, Ui/UX and send a complete report with some action items that you can follow.