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What is responsive website design?
August 27, 2013 | Inga Rundquist

There’s a new buzzword in town, and it’s high time we discuss it: responsive web design. What is it and do you need to be worried about it? Here’s the scoop:

Simply put, a responsive website adjusts its size and layout to accommodate the platform on which it is being viewed. In other words, the site will look the same (for the most part) whether it’s viewed on a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer.

There’s a whole lotta fancy coding that’s needed in order to accomplish this (right, Tony?). What it boils down to, however, is that the website’s style sheet – information that defines the site’s layout – uses "media queries” to determine the size of the device’s viewing area and displays the page in the most appropriate layout.

Should you invest in a responsive web design?

Good question. Several important factors play into deciding whether or not to invest in a responsive site:

  • Is your website a primary point of interaction between your audience and your brand? (For most brands out there, this should be answered with a resounding "yes!”)
  • Does your website contain interactive features and information used by employees and customers at remote locations?
  • What kind of budget and timeframe do you have to work with? This is important to ask because responsive websites are typically more expensive than a traditional website due to the extensive planning and coding that goes into building them.
  • Is your audience typically "on the go?”

That last bullet was a bit of a trick question. Mashable projects that 50 percent of its website users will come from a mobile device by the end of 2013. Overall, tablet sales this past quarter are up 65 percent over the year prior. With these numbers, you can see that many ‒ if not most ‒ of your users are likely "on the go” or will be in the near future.

Being able to reach your audience and give them a quality experience with your brand online leads to more satisfied customers and, ultimately, a higher sales conversion rate. And we don’t know about you, but we love happy customers.

Visit the Microsoft or Disney websites on your desktop, and then check them out on your smartphone or tablet to see the differences. Those companies know the value of having a responsive site and now you do, too.

For more info, give us a shout!

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