Responsive websites & design for small businesses in Toronto & Durham Region.
Want to compete in mobile and local searches? A responsive website is an absolute must these days and no longer a choice.
Mobile first. That’s the latest catchphrase you’ve probably been hearing about and it relates directly to the concept of responsive websites & design.
In its least technical sense, “Responsive website design” means that a website is programmed to adapt to the screen size and/or device of the person viewing the website, beginning with the mobile experience first. If you view a responsive website on your iPhone, for example, the columns, images, type and multimedia will display in a more proportionate manner. View that same website on your desktop computer and it will adjust itself yet again.
So, the whole “mobile first” thing simply places emphasis on enhancing the mobile experience and then building the website outward to accommodate other devices.
Everyone gets to play now.
It used to be that little consideration was placed on the mobile viewer. Few developers or web designers cared about it and everyone else had to deal with a crappy mobile experience. The thinking behind the whole “Mobile First” movement was that the mobile landscape (or screen size) is much smaller and therefore more difficult to display, so why not focus on it before worrying about larger landscapes where it is always easier to display information?
There are essentially three main points when considering responsive layouts versus traditional ones:
- A flexible, grid-based layout
- Flexible images and media
- Media queries
Consider this very page. When viewed on a laptop or desktop computer, the image above is 700 pixels wide by 300 pixels high. When viewed on a mobile device, however, it automatically scales-down to fit the window: as the window shrinks, so do the images. Pretty cool stuff.
If you are viewing this page on a laptop or desktop computer, resize your browser window and you will see the columns begin to shift vertically (along with the images being resized). As you will notice, the website is responding to the viewing area of the device.
Responsive design means that a website is programmed to adapt to the screen size and/or device of the person viewing the website, beginning with the mobile experience first.
Still a bit confused? Don’t worry about it. Just know that responsive websites exist and that you should probably have one as well.
The same content displayed differently.
To be clear, a responsive website is not technically the same as a dedicated mobile website. With a responsive website, the content is always the same and only the presentation of the website changes. Mobile websites, on the other hand, tend to hold mobile-specific information and need to be updated in addition to the regular website.
Responsive website design and SEO.
Another advantage of implementing responsive designs is that the content remains the same. As such, there is no risk of duplicating content and Google actually prefers responsive design as the go-to mobile offering.
Google LOVES a responsive website.
As mentioned above, Google rolled-out an update that gave extra consideration to websites offering a solid mobile experience, regardless of whether it is a dedicated mobile or responsive one. The down-side to this is that the websites which have not conformed will experience a loss of search engine rankings will presumably suffer a great loss in revenue in the process. Test your website’s readiness for mobile and see if you pass.
Responsive design is no longer optional.
If you want your website to compete, you will need to have a responsive website at the very least. With numbers such as 60% of searches being performed on mobile phones these days, Google is looking to deliver the best possible results and any website that is not mobile-ready is not going to cut it.
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