Why Responsive Websites Are A Must in 2014

Percentage of internet users who use mobile devices to access the internet.

Data Source: Pew Internet Research Study

Hi, my name is Dave and if you want to learn about responsive websites, you have come to the right place. I am about to answer a few questions including what is a responsive website?, why are they so awesome? and why having one isn’t just about following the trend. If this is the first time you’ve heard the term, you are about to get the meat and potatoes of responsive websites.

Let’s start with the basics – what is a responsive website? Short answer – it is a website that reacts to the size screen and type of device it is being viewed on. There are a few tools and tricks that web designers use to achieve this. You can get a real live example of this by resizing the browser window you are viewing this very site on. That’s right, this website – my website – is a responsive site.

It looks like you are viewing my site on either a computer or a tablet.

If you want to see what my website would look like on a mobile device, just click the following button. You can also change the size of your browser window by hovering your mouse above the bottom right corner of the screen, clicking and holding, then dragging from right to left. Watch how the layout of the page changes. You can try this trick on any website to see if it is responsive.

It looks like you’re viewing my site on a mobile device.

If you want to see what my site looks like on a tablet or computer, just email yourself a link to this page and open it once you get back to your computer. I’ve set up a quick little email thingy to automatically send you the link, all you have to do is enter your email and click “send”.

You will start to find more and more responsive websites as we move forward in 2014. Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Dave, what are the benefits of having a responsive site?” Well lucky for you, I am about to answer that.

To understand why responsive websites are so awesome, you have to first take a broad look at the state of personal web-browsing device technology. To sum it up, there are about a billion different devices your customer could be using at any time to view your website. Despite my over-exaggeration, you get the point. There are more devices than any web designer can account for. Each one with a different size screen. This makes it impossible to design for each of these screen sizes. Oh, and here is the kicker – six months from now there will be a dozen new devices out that all have new and different screen sizes.

Web designers used to design a separate site for each type of device that was commercially available. This wasn’t hard when all we had to worry about was the difference between a desktop computer and a laptop. Then the iPhone was released and there were two types of devices to worry about – computers and iPhones. Now, designing a separate site for every size screen is impractical if not completely impossible. Enter responsive websites.

When designed right, responsive websites will look great on any device. This is because they are not designed based on the width of a viewport, they are designed based on the content of the site. The layout of a responsive website is based on fluid widths instead of fixed ones. They have break points that alter the layout completely for smaller devices. They alter the size of the text so you can easily read the content on a smaller device like a phone. The biggest benefit of a responsive site is the massive improvement in user experience for mobile users. Have you ever used your smart phone to view a website that wasn’t responsive, and did not have a separate mobile version? You have to squeeze and pinch the screen to read the text, and pressing any of the links with human-sized fingers or thumbs is virtually impossible. These problems are all fixed by responsive design.

One more thing. How about load time? How long are you willing to wait for a full desktop sized page to load on your tiny iPhone? Responsive sites are capable of loading smaller sized images based on the type of device accessing your site. This decreases page load time, and increases user satisfaction.

By now you should have a good idea of what a responsive website is, and why they are so awesome. But “why are they a must in 2014 Dave?” I have the answer to this question as well. The answer is simple. People are getting smarter. The level of expectation when accessing the internet is raising faster than you can imagine. A year or two ago, responsive websites were simply a hip trend. They are now steadily becoming the standard. Most major companies and brands have adopted the responsive movement, and now midsize to even small businesses are now adapting it as well. The thing is – it isn’t just a matter of being left behind.

73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load

48% of mobile users say that they’ve encountered a website had formatting that made it difficult to read

40% of mobile users abandon a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load

What does this data mean?

Users may not know what a responsive site is, but they certainly know how the frustrations of not using one feel. When looking for a new restaurant, clothing store or oil change place (just to name a few examples), 40% of users browsing on a mobile device will statistically wait no longer than 3 seconds for a page to load before they continue their search elsewhere according to a study performed by KISSmetrics (click to read the study). Here is another startling fact – as of September 2013, 63% of adults aged 18 and up use smart phones to go online regularly, and 34% of adults almost exclusively use their phones to browse the internet. (Pew research internet project) What does this mean? This means a third of your potential customers are using their smart phones to access your site. That is a demographic you can not afford to ignore. The numbers are only trending more towards mobile usage because that first number – the 63% of adults that use phones to access the internet – is up from 55% in 2012 and 31% in 2009.

Let’s wrap this up. Responsive websites are awesome and if you don’t have one, you should. I can design and install a brand new responsive website for $599. If that sounds like a lot to you, call up any competing design & hosting company and see how much they charge for a custom responsive website. (Hint, it will be in the thousands.) I have payment plans available for up to 6 months through paypal financing, so if you are interested, please give me a ring at (734)755-8132 or simple buy online and I’ll be in touch within 24 business hours to get the ball rolling on your new responsive website. Click this button if you can’t wait a moment longer to get your responsive website going: