Responsive web design and why it's so important…

As Christmas approaches, many of us will start thinking about the new year and the different opportunities and challenges it will bring to our business.

One of the things you may be considering for next year is a new website, especially if your current site is unresponsive or you are still using a stand alone mobile version of your main website.  If you are not sure about what it means to be responsive, have a look at this definition of Responsive Web Design (we particularly like the water analogy)

So why is responsive design important?  

In a word – Google.   Google is the undisputed king of search online and it says your site needs to be responsive.   They have unequivocally stated that responsive design is their recommended design pattern.  We previously blogged about ‘Mobilegeddon’ and the impact that may have had on ranking of non-responsive websites – more here

Sites which are not responsive risk being ranked lower than their responsive counterparts in search results.  This is because Google’s ranking factors take into account the device which is being used to perform a web search, and provides the best results for that search.   In this case, the best results mean not just that the content itself is appropriate but that it can be accessed from the device used to perform the search.  With over 80% of the UK population now having access to a smartphone and more than half of internet searches performed on mobile devices, you cannot afford for your search ranking to be affected by a poor mobile website experience.  

Cross-device browsing on the rise

There is also a huge increase in people using multiple devices to access the same site online, perhaps on a mobile on the way to work, a laptop through the day and a tablet in the evening.  If your website is properly responsive it will be easier for users to navigate cross device.  As well as having design continuity across devices, which is important for user experience, it will also load faster, which leads to lower abandonment rates and has a positive impact on the amount of time people will stay on your site, which is also a positive ranking indicator for Google.

Having a single, responsive template for your website will also make it easier to maintain and manage.  Content added via your CMS will render on any screen size in the most appropriate way possible, reducing the time spent, and therefore reducing the costs.

Responsive Design in DNN

One of the benefits of using a CMS like DNN is that any newly built website will be responsive by default, built using Bootstrap.   It is also possible to take an existing, non-responsive website and overlay a new responsive template to it.  This has an advantage in terms of cost as it uses all the existing information on the site and creates new responsive containers for it.  

Whichever way you do it though, there really is no alternative to going responsive.  If you have an existing DNN site which needs a responsive face-lift or if you need a brand new site, contact us to discuss how we can help.