What Is a Responsive Website and Do I Need One?

Gone are the days when you could get a website designed that only had to look good on a computer screen. Nowadays, more people than ever access websites on tablets, smartphones, netbooks and screens of all sizes to view websites. That means you need to find a way for your website to display correctly no matter where it is being viewed, and one of the best solutions is to design a responsive site.

Overview of Responsive Websites

There are two design options when you want your website to be viewable on different screen sizes: responsive and adaptive. Adaptive design involves creating a number of different sites, and the correct version will then display depending on the device being used.

Responsive design involves just one website design that then responds to the screen size on which the website is being viewed. If you are reading this on the CSI Media website, change the size of the browser window and you will see how the website design changes instantly.

Why Responsive Design is so Popular

Responsive is taking the lead as the design option of choice, and this is mainly because you only have to design one version of your website. You don't have to constantly update a whole range of screen sizes, which can be cumbersome and expensive. Overall, it is a simple solution to the problem of websites being viewed on various screens.

Why You Need It

Mobile is more popular than ever. 32% of UK consumers now make purchases on their smartphones, and smartphone use continues to rocket while use of PCs declines.

If you only have a standard website for your business, you are likely to be behind your competitors. They are all busy designing responsive sites to be viewed anywhere because they know that people want to be able to view websites on their mobile devices.

What happens when someone cannot read the text on your website because it is too small, the images don't show up, or the display is distorted? The answer is they will leave and find a website that is easier to view. You want to ensure the user experience is as positive as possible. You want your website to be fast no matter what device it is being viewed on, otherwise visitors will become impatient. If you have an e-commerce website, you will almost certainly be losing business if you don't have a good mobile design. You need to make it as easy as possible to sell your products, and if it is near impossible for your visitors to find their way to the store and buy a product, you're losing sales. Responsive design is also future proof. Who knows what screens people will be using to access the internet a few years down the road? If you use responsive design, that does not matter because your website will adapt to any screen size.