Why Responsive Websites are so Important

Melissa Meschke Marketing, Michigan Creative, Web Design

“We could have just built a smart phone version, but that wouldn’t have helped us with the rise of tablets. There are so many different screen sizes proliferating now that we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on future opportunities.”
~Jeff Moriarty, VP of Digital Products at the Boston Globe

Responsive web design is here and it’s here to stay.

What is it? Responsive web design is a web design approach that is aims to create sites that provide an optimal viewing experience and easy reading and navigation, by minimizing resizing, panning, and scrolling across a variety of devices.

Basically, responsive design makes your site viewable on any device, no matter how large or small. It increases usability, functionality, and improves overall customer satisfaction.

Here at Michigan Creative, we now build all of our websites on responsive themes. Check out Vision Tire‘s design below:

Michigan Creative Marketing

This may lead some of you to ask why. Why go through the effort of finding themes that are responsive? What difference does it make?

I promise it’s worth it and will actually make you money in the long run! Here are my top 5 reasons why you should have a responsive website:

1. Customers use a variety of devices to reach a variety of goals.

* 81% browse the internet using their devices
*75% shop using their devices
*46% manage their finances using their devices
*43% plan trips with their devices

People these days seem to use their phones for every thing! Don’t leave your customers out just because you don’t think they would use your site on mobile. Odds are that they probably are accessing your site on a phone or tablet at some point in time.

2. Don’t be a statistic built on slow load times!

Over 46% of mobile users report having difficulty with webpages and 44% complain navigation is sometimes difficult. By implementing a responsive web design for your webpage, this will significantly reduce the load time of your webpage on any device. A quick load time keeps customers interested and makes it easier for them to take action.

3. Every time a new device comes out, you won’t have to create a new website. 

New tablets and smartphones come out every single day it seems. If you build a mobile specific site for each phone and tablet’s dimensions, you will spend lots of time and money trying to keep up with all of the devices out there! Keep it simple and have a site that adjusts to any size screen so you’ll never leave a customer without access to your website.

4. It’ll make it easy for users to navigate.

This seems like kind of a no-brainer, but having a mobile optimized site means no excessive scrolling, pinching, stretching, zooming, ect. Responsive web designs also make it easy for customers to click and call simply by touching your phone number while viewing the site on their phone.

5. Your entire site is able to be viewed on any platform.

Certain elements in websites without responsive designs are not viewable on mobile devices. For instance, did you know that you cannot view any part of a site built in Adobe Flash on an iPhone? Sometimes elements of sites will overlap, crowd the screen, or simply not show up on a mobile platform. When using a responsive design you never have to worry about this happening as it auto adjusts each and every time.

I was able to find a recent success story to put all of this data to work! The United Way Bay Area (UWBA) had built their website in 2008 and hadn’t updated it very much. When they started talking about a new site, they wanted to keep their costs low, increase online donations, encourage individual contribution, and work on year-long contributions instead of seasonal contributions. A responsive design was a large part of this conversation as well. After analyzing the sates from the site soon after launch, they found an increase of mobile sessions by 34%, an increase of tablet sessions by 21.5%, and they were able to generate a 28% growth in year-over-year online donations! To see the whole case study click here.

I hope this helps clarify why it is so important for businesses today to have a responsive website.

Until next time!
~Melissa