When it comes to promoting and marketing your business, your website can be your best friend or your worst enemy. In order for it to be a truly effective tool, an attractive design alone isn't enough. Your website also needs to be responsive. These days your website visitors fully expect your site to work flawlessly across any device. The overall design, layout, buttons, images, etc., all need to adjust and respond according to how it's being viewed.

Q: Why is it so important to cater to mobile device users? Aren't most people viewing my website from their desktop computers?

A: The number of handheld devices operating worldwide is growing exponentially. According to a recent study, more than 90% of adults own a cell phone, whereas almost 50% of smartphone users admit that they could not live without their devices. As the world moves more and more to mobile, it's crucial for those sites that haven't already done so to make their websites responsive. In this article, we'll talk about what responsive web design is and how you can use it in a way that will work best with your site's content.

"More than 90% of adults own a cell phone, whereas almost 50% of smartphone users admit that they could not live without their devices..."

Mobile Device Statistics
Image: Oberlo

What Is Responsive Web Design?

Simply put, responsive web design is a method of designing that allows your website to flex and move, essentially morphing into a different version of itself depending on the device a person uses to browse your site. Viewing on a desktop with a large monitor? There is plenty of room to spread out. Viewing on a handheld device like a mobile phone or tablet? Things will have to size down and get cozy as real estate shrinks. Responsive web design has now become a standard for all websites. This is because responsive website design allows the website to be easily accessed and used on any browser, platform, or screen that you may have. Responsive web design uses fluid grids and flexible images so that the site's layout will change depending on what device it is being viewed on so it will fit properly into multiple screen sizes without changing its overall appearance and still look good while doing it!

As the use of mobile devices continues to rise, the evolution of “mobile-friendly” websites continues to evolve as well.

A few years ago, when flexible layouts were almost a “luxury” for websites, the only things that were flexible in a design were the layout columns (structural elements) and the text. Images could easily break layouts, and even flexible structural elements broke a layout's form when pushed enough. Flexible designs weren't really that flexible; they could give or take a few hundred pixels, but they often couldn't adjust from a large computer screen to a mobile device.

These days we can make things much more flexible. Images can be automatically adjusted, and we have design properties that recognize different screen sizes and automatically adjust accordingly. It's perfect for devices that switch from portrait orientation to landscape in an instant or for when users switch from a large computer screen to a tablet.

But what does responsive web design mean for small business owners? More importantly, why should you concern yourself with responsive web design? When it comes to promoting and marketing your business, a well-designed website can be your most valuable asset. But, if you want it to be truly effective, an attractive design alone isn't enough.

Here are a few keys points to keep in mind when thinking about responsive web design:

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• It enables your website to be easily used on any device

• The layout and design of the site will change automatically to fit any device as needed

• You will increase brand recognition with increased exposure by being more accessible

• Helps to make sure that information is never missed by a potential customer

• It is now expected for websites to be fully responsive instead of just being viewable on desktop systems

• Works on any device, browser, platform

• Easy for users to access and use while on the go

• Decreases bounce rate

All of the websites we design are automatically optimized for viewing on any device; desktop, tablet, mobile, etc. If you have any questions about creating a website for your business or upgrading your current website to make it responsive, give us a call, we'll be glad to help!