What Is Responsive Web Design?

Examples of responsive web design displayed on multiple devices of different sizes and orientationsResponsive Website Design refers to how your website displays on different devices.

Desktop computer displays are generally larger than tablet displays.  Tablet displays are generally larger than mobile handheld device displays.  In order for your website content to be easily viewable on all of these devices, your website must be built with responsive design.

How does responsive design display differently than non-responsive design?

Below are three images of a familiar website page shown on three separate devices.

Demonstration of Responsive Web Development Beside a Non Responsive Site On a Small DeviceFigure 1 shows the original page as it was intended to be displayed on a desktop monitor.

Figure 2 shows the same page in a responsive format.  With less screen real-estate, the page displays differently, but the text is still easily readable.  The menu has collapsed itself and turned into a button that’s easily pressed to navigate throughout the site.

Figure 3 shows the same page on a mobile handheld device, but not in a responsive context.  The text and navigation are almost impossible to read without zooming in and out and around the page.  The menu buttons are almost impossible to press without pressing the ones next to them, or having to zoom in and out to press the right menu button.

Importance of Responsive Website Design

Every year more people are accessing the Internet using their handheld devices.  Each year, statistcs show that everything from browsing to purchasing is increasing on handheld devices.  As a matter of fact, handheld devices have overtaken desktop and laptop computers in terms of pages browsed.  Google and other search engines are rating sites with responsive design higher than those without.  That means if your site is built with responsiveness in mind, you’ll rank higher in search engine results than which aren’t responsive.

Bottom Line on Responsive Website Design

If you have a website and it’s not responsive, you’re increasingly missing out on search engine result pages.  Missing out means less customers finding you.  If your website is not responsive, perhaps it’s time to fix the problem?

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