The Advantages of Responsive Websites

October 21st, 2015 by . Posted in Design

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The pace and evolution of technology and communication devices over the past decade has enabled anyone with a PC, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, television, game console, or even wrist watch to surf the web thanks to the built-in Internet connectivity on most of these devices. As the number of ‘Internet ready’ devices has increased, so too has the design trend of developing ‘responsive websites’ which adapt and resize the website’s layout and content so that it renders optimally on different screen sizes, whether it be a mobile phone, tablet or desktop PC.

Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of responsive websites:

1. Better SEO Ranking

Responsive websites are generally indexed better by search engines and also receive a higher weighting than standard websites as they can be rendered on multiple devices.

2. Quality User Experience

Responsive websites provide an optimised user experience irrespective of the device they are accessed from.

3. Increased Sales and Conversion Rates

Since responsive websites render optimally on all devices and there is no need for redirects, there is much less customer drop-off and better conversion rates.

4. Cost and Time Savings

Managing a single template instead of multiple templates for different devices is much simpler for designers and significantly decreases development and maintenance costs. In many instances a good responsive website also eliminates the need for an expensive mobile app.

5. Offline Browsing

Most smartphones and tablets are HTML5 enabled, which has functionality that allows users to browse websites even when there is no Internet connection.

Here are some tips for web designers when designing a responsive website:

  • The number of columns on the web page should be adaptive based on the screen/window dimensions
  • The menus and the content should be displayed according to the interest of your target market
  • Images and videos should be dynamically resized in order to fit the screen width
  • Menus, links, and buttons need to be bigger on touch screen devices in order to promote a user friendly experience
  • The spacing between hyperlinks must be generous in order to avoid an unintended action on small touch screens
  • The font size and line spacing should be optimised to encourage legibility. The number of columns should also be carefully chosen
  • CSS3 should be used for visual effects instead of images

Following the general guidelines above should enable users to navigate your website from almost any device without serious usability issues.