So your web designer has told you to redo your website… again…but this time they are touting responsive, responsive, responsive! Well, before you add this to the bottom of the priority list, let me go over a few items that may give you reason to evaluate their latest recommendation.
First, the quickest summary of responsive ever
The power of responsive design is that you can build your website in a way that automagically changes structure, layout, images and information based on the device you are viewing the website with. So, on a mobile device you see a mobile version of the site, on a desktop computer you see a desktop computer version of the site, and so on, and so forth.
On the outside the concept sounds pretty cool, but is there really any value to be gained to justify the cost of building it? Well, there just may be. Although there are actually a lot of benefits, here are three main reasons to consider the upgrade.
- An outcome of responsive design is usually better customer experiences. Now I say usually because a crappy site is still a crappy site, but if you work with a decent designer that understands website usability, and you have spent time building good content, then you most likely will get positive feedback from your customers when they view your site from multiple devices. And they will view it from multiple devices!
- Managing site content is also much easier as you are only managing one site. A huge value we see in responsive design based sites is that because it is only one site, you only need to generate one set of copy, edit one set of copy, and when making changes, only change one set of copy. This, plus the added benefit of only having to host one site, and support one site, is a very tangible savings for companies. That being said, if you don’t remember the last time you updated your content, and are getting your hosting for $5 / mon, well this may not be that important to you. (If this is you, please read these tips on building a stronger web presence)
- Google loves responsive design. So does Bing and Yahoo for that matter (though not a ton of people care about that). And when Google recommends something it usually translates into rankings. Although they will still rank sites that are not responsive, they have already indicated they are ranking full (desktop and tablet) versions, and mobile versions in two different sets of results. Meaning if your site is not responsive you could potentially lose a ton of exposure.
Ultimately if you are using your website to augment your branding, sales or marketing efforts, responsive is probably a smart move. If your site is the equivalent of that old computer in the storage room that could be used as a boat anchor… well maybe you won’t see the value or return. Either way, responsive is here to stay and companies that have already moved forward are most likely seeing the returns.