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Responsive web design is the future-friendly approach recommended for developing a website to meet the needs of visitors regardless of the device used to view your website. A responsive website adjusts gracefully and maintains functionality whether being viewed on a desktop computer or a mobile phone. If a site redesign is not in the budget, there are ways to help your current site meet the needs of mobile-only customers.
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What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design takes the approach that you should design your site based on the devices people use to access your content. A responsive site requires adjustable screen resolutions, flexible images and a custom layout structure.
Why is Responsive Design Important?
The number of mobile-only internet users is on the rise, with teens leading the way. However, teens are not the only age groups using their cellphones to access the web. According to Pew Research 55% of adult Americans access the internet on their phones with 31% of respondents reporting they use their phones a majority of the time. As the number of people using tablets and mobile phones as their preferred devices continues to increase, it is important to make your business site easily accessible across all devices.
A responsive design ensures the same content is available to all users without requiring mobile or tablet users to pinch and shift their way around your site in order to find the information or product they need. If finding the right information on your site is too frustrating, most people will move on to the next site instead of pinching and shifting their way around yours.
How to Meet the Challenge of Mobile-Only Users
Many businesses may not have the time or budget to start from scratch with a responsive redesign, however, there are options available that allow you to retrofit an existing website and make it more mobile-friendly.
Build a Mobile Site
Building a separate mobile site is an inexpensive option to develop, however, maintaining two sets of code can run into higher costs over time.
Retrofit an Existing Site
Retrofitting your site involves using your existing code, so it eliminates the expense of maintaining two sets of code required when building a separate mobile site. Visitors will be able to access your site using a variety of devices and it should require only a few changes to your site.
Retool Your Site to be Mobile Compatible
If your budget doesn’t allow for a complete redesign there are some minor changes you can make in your existing site that will make it easier for mobile visitors to use. Site navigation should be simplified to make it easier to find important information or products. Change the font to one that is easy to read and use a larger size to make it easier to read on when the site is opened on tiny screens. You should also consider using easy-to-see buttons instead of text hyperlinks. These are all changes that will make your site easier for mobile viewers to use.
The most important factors in determining which method works for you are your current site design, the time you have available and your budget. However, if you haven’t updated your site in the past four years, it is time to give us a call and upgrade anyway.