In the early 21st century, the Internet boom
and subsequently an e-commerce boom, made it
mandatory for businesses to have websites and a web presence.
To get more business and to sell their wares businesses came up
with attractive websites. These early websites were heavy
on graphics, had lots of code built into it and took ages to load.
They also catered to standard screen size and standard browsers.
The background and need for Responsive Websites
But now, new devices are hitting the market on a regular basis. Not only do these devices
have varying screen sizes and resolutions, but also varied browsers and other software.
So, sticking to the old way of designing websites will amount to being stuck in the
stone-age in Internet terms. This will amount to Hara-kiri for your business.
It is predicted that by 2014, the number of people browsing the Internet and
doing business via mobile devices will overtake the number of people using traditional desktop usage.
But, with the advancement of technology in other fields, there is advancement in
the field of website design as well. Building a responsive website is the solution to this problem.
What is a responsive website?
A website is said to be responsive when it changes its look and feel, and especially the
size of its content, based on the device that loads it, such that the user has minimum
requirement of scrolling or manually adjusting the size. This resizing includes change
in size of font, buttons and at times even the layout.
Advantages of having a responsive website
So, instead of developing two different websites, one for normal browsers and the
other for mobile devices, you can have just one website catering to all the devices.
- Single site to be built – This saves code construction and so saves effort and money spent on creating multiple websites.
- Content uniformity and consistency – Updates to content need to be done in only one place and so the problem of different content on two different sites is done away with.
- Site Optimization – From a site optimization perspective, Google gets to see only one site and not two sites with similar content. So any issues that may arise because of duplicate content and then barring of the site are made redundant.
How to have a responsive website
The latest technological advancements have made it easier to have a responsive
website. Designers use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to design the look and feel of the
site, including image sizes and font sizes. CSS3 allows you to have different styles for
different types of devices and the appropriate style is chosen by the device.
This enables building of HTML code on the fly based on the device rendering the site.
There are still pros and cons that keep on cropping up from different
sets of people and different schools of thought. It is you, the owner
of the site that has to decide whether you need to have a responsive
site or are you targeting only desktop users.
But, as per Google and its study on keywords and accessing of sites and
site optimization, responsive websites is the way to go in 2013.