It used to be that your website was only available on a computer. Happily, that is no longer the case. But with consumers reaching the internet on an ever-growing number of devices and viewing your site on any size screen from tablet to smartphone, your website needs to be a little more versatile.
With new devices introduced almost daily, it’s hard to guess what your clients may be viewing your website on. But it’s easy to guess that you want them to have a good user experience no matter the device. That means conversions - the website needs to look and feel the same if they are on a computer, laptop, mobile phone or tablet.
That may sound a little overwhelming, but there is a one size fits all solution to making sure your website adapts to every screen it is seen on. Responsive Web Design is a new website format that 'responds' to whatever device the site is being viewed on.
Responsive Web Design has become one of the hottest trends in 2013. The increase of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are part of the reason. According to the Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, the average smartphone usage grew 81% in 2012 and by the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth.
We’ve seen these changes firsthand. I’m sure you have too. When we reviewed our own website analytics at Buddingh & Associates for the first quarter 2013 compared to the last quarter of 2012, our mobile visitors (including tablet users) was up over 100%. This information, along with the desire to modernize our website, resulted in a redesigned site using a Responsive Design template from Stratum Development Inc. B&A has partnered with Stratum Development Inc. for many years to bring our clients powerful, cost efficient Content Management System (CMS) based websites. This type of site gives businesses immediate access to make changes to their site using a simple web based tool.
We chose Responsive Design because it does the hard work for you. It can recognize different screen resolutions and adjust the design depending on the device's screen size allowing for easy reading and navigation. A Responsive Design template delivers optimal viewing no matter if the user is on a PC, tablet or smartphone.
Instead of being a static page, this new kind of site uses a fluid grid to determine where the webpage elements should go depending on the device. For example, take a page with three images - they may go in a horizontal row when viewed on a computer, but check the same page on a mobile device and they’ve flipped to a column for easy scrolling.
And, Responsive Design requires less maintenance. You can manage and update your regular PC website content and your mobile content all at the same time. There is no need to maintain a mobile site separate from your main site.
For a firsthand look at this technology, view our redesigned website BuddinghAssociates.com on a desktop and then on a mobile device to see how Responsive Design works. Now one design will work for users of all devices and for your business. Contact us at BuddinghAssociates.com for information on updating your site to Responsive Design.
Jeanne M. Buddingh is founder and partner in Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact her at (630) 961-4504 or visit www.BuddinghAssociates.com.