The year 2013 has been dubbed the “Year of Responsive Web Design,” and for a good reason – it is one of the hottest topics in web design right now. Responsive web design (or RWD) is a design process in which websites are able to be viewed on a variety of devices, whether they’re traditional computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. There is no need for separate mobile templates, since responsive design is developed to be displayed on all devices from a single code base. The following details the pros and cons of responsive design.
Pros of responsive design
What makes responsive web design so special? First of all, it simplifies and streamlines your web presence. You only have to manage one site for everything. There is no separate template for mobile or tablets, because everything is already optimized for whatever device the end viewer is using. Gone is the hassle of scrolling and resizing pages to work on that small smartphone screen. It also frees up your need to provide duplicate content, as content is based in a single location and you only have to manage one website.
Search engine optimization is another benefit of responsive design, as many experts believe that Google ranks responsive websites higher. You’re only dealing with one URL instead of multiple locations, so search engines will know to point to a single spot when someone is looking for you. And, as you already know, anything that makes life easier for Google will make life easier for you and your customers. When your customer does a search, you want them to find you quickly, and the advent of responsive web design means searches will become more effective.
Cons of responsive web design
There are a few drawbacks to responsive design, primarily because it is still in its early development. As with any new technology there are the usual bugs and glitches to work out, such as the difficulty of allowing banner ads and videos to transfer smoothly between multiple devices.
Beyond the technology, one of the main issues is price. If you have invested a lot of time and money into creating separate sites for online and mobile platforms, you will probably be reluctant to spend the funds needed to integrate everything into a single responsive design. It can be disheartening to know that you’ll have to spend even more in order to fully optimize your web presence. This can be frustrating for businesses with tight budgets and little technical savvy.
As responsive web design becomes the norm, these problems will work themselves out, and the costs will decrease. Now is the time to explore responsive design and determine the pros and cons for your specific business needs. It’s easy to be left behind in this ever-changing world of web design, and that’s why it is important to stay on top of all the latest and greatest innovations. Responsive design is here to stay, so positioning your company to take advantage of its features now can save time and money later.
Guest Post by Brian