June 07 2013 8 Reasons Why to Invest in Responsive Web Design If you are thinking about a new website or redesigning your current site, you have undoubtedly considered building it using responsive web design. Responsive design is a web development strategy that results in a single website which dynamically resizes and reconfigures to various screen sizes, devices and orientations. In other words, instead of having a separate site for desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, responsive design delivers a single set of content and code that caters to all audiences. Although building a site with responsive design requires a larger initial investment than a traditional web design project, the investment is well worth it for most businesses. Here are 8 reasons why: One single site for all audience versus separate mobile sites: Building a site using responsive design techniques involves separate design templates and CSS3 code for each target device or browser size. This means that a single set of files and content is used for desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. For programmers and marketers, this significantly simplifies the process of managing the site and ultimately makes it more cost effective. Invest now to save later: When building or rebuilding a website these days, all of the choices can be overwhelming. Having built hundreds of websites for businesses across nearly every industry, we can sympathize. But consider this statistic: by 2014, mobile internet is predicted to take over desktop internet usage (source: Microsoft Tag). So responsive design, though it increases the initial project investment because it simply takes more design and development time, will most certainly save your business time and money in the not-so-long-term. Mobile audience is rapidly growing: The digital world is changing, and your site needs to change with it. According to Internet WorldStats there are 2.3 billion internet users in the world, and by 2015 there will be 2.1 billion mobile users. Start catering to your multi-device mobile audience now, as they make judgments about your company based on the appearance and usability of your site. Responsive design can help you make a positive impression and avoid scaring mobile visitors away. Reduce page load time to cater to smartphones: Did you know that 74% of users will leave a website after waiting only five seconds for it to load (source: Compuware)? Because you can turn on and off specific elements of a page with responsive design templates, you have the ability to slim-down the “heavy components” in the mobile version of your site and reduce the page load time. Responsive design is good for SEO: Google, who has more than 2/3 of the search engine market, loves responsive design. Here’s why. When generating search results, Google looks at how much traffic a particular site gets, with the thought that more traffic equals more credibility. Having separate sites for different devices splits site traffic into different URLs. Responsive design results in combined all traffic into one domain, resulting in one site with larger traffic and increasing the search engine appeal and theoretically its ranking. Additionally, responsive web design makes it easier for Google to discover all of your content since it’s crawling a single site. Speaking purely technically, Google also likes sites that have the same HTML for all devices and that use CSS media queries, but if you’re a marketer and your eyes just glazed over, read on to the next point because we’re talking about YOU! Deliver a full mobile site for marketers: Regular mobile versions of sites are generally scaled back to just the top pages, as determined by the business. That does not fare well for marketers, whose mission is often to tell people about something that they didn’t come to the site for. With responsive web design, smartphone and tablet versions of sites can include promotional space, enabling marketers to draw attention to key products and services to their growing mobile audience. Many CMS platforms support responsive web design: If you are evaluating which content management system to use for your website project, be sure to check whether the CMS supports responsive design. Many of the top CMS platforms including Sitecore, Sitefinity, Kentico, Drupal, WordPress and others have built-in features to support responsive design. Your competitors are investing: People are seamlessly moving from one device to another – often simultaneously – and expect a rich website experience no matter what their device. For this reason, businesses are realizing that responsive design is no longer just an option, but truly a must-have. Chances are that your competitors are investing in responsive web design, so don’t get left behind. Want to discuss your responsive website design needs? Give us a call at 860.633.4818 or send us an email. Also, be sure to check out some of our responsive site examples. Responsive Design posted by Michelle Brown VP of Marketing Share this article ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.