There’s no point building a website that no-one will look at. That’s the case whether you’re planning an all-singing all-dancing content packed masterpiece or if you just want a humble e-shop to sell a few products and showcase the services you offer.
A responsive website is one that can adapt to any screen shape or size and the fact is that this is hardly some sort of flashy optional extra – it’s an essential part of building a website fit for a modern digital audience.
Why? Well, there are two key reasons. Firstly, it’s what your customer wants and secondly it’s what Google wants. Here’s why that matters:
It’s what your reader wants
Your website needs to deliver a good user experience for your customers. They are, after all, the people who are going to be reading it and, hopefully, parting with their money as a result of what they’ve read. That means getting across the key information in an easily digestible way, using the right words, picture and layout and, for e-commerce sites, making it as easy as possible to make a purchase once they’ve made their decision.
Yet, increasingly, that also means making the site fit for mobile devices. The availability and use of mobile devices has grown massively in recent years and has overtaken desktops as the platform of choice for browsers. Your site can look as pretty as you want but if it then appears stretched, squashed or shrunken on a smartphone then you’re going to get nowhere. Customers don’t want to spend time fiddling with their screens – it’s too time consuming and it doesn’t create a great impression of your brand.
It’s what Google wants
The customer is important but so too is Google. The ever-powerful search-engine-turned-overlord can have great sway on how easy it is to find your website. You need to consider how to use content smartly so that you will rank well on Google searches. However, responsive design is also a huge part of that process.
Google takes into account how friendly your site is for mobile users when it decides on where you’ll appear in its list. You could lose a lot of business and traffic if your site isn’t as responsive as your rivals.
Responsive design should be a must
You shouldn’t feel like a responsive website is something flashy that you should aspire to in the long term. People haven’t just suddenly started using their smartphones to research products and make their shopping choices and Google hasn’t just suddenly started using mobile friendliness as part of the way it ranks websites. These two factors are growing too.
That means you should make this a ‘must’ when listing out the things you want from a website. If you go to a company such as WestHost you’ll see that this is part of the package when building a site and it really is something you should demand as standard. If you get your hands on a design that is naturally responsive, then this will come as a second nature and you’ll never have to worry about which device or platform your customers are using to access your website.