So, you started a business and it was successful. Awesome! Then, you decided to expand to the internet to increase your foot traffic, sales, or company recognition. Great! Now that your business is represented online, the breadth of possibilities is practically endless. A solid online presence is a great way to display the important aspects of your business and to increase the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. We are in a mobile, digital age, so in order to meet the needs of your clientele, having a website that works on all any device, regardless of screen size is a necessity. Developing a responsive site design is the way to achieve this.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
What does it even mean? There are so many terms for websites and how they interact with technology, (mobile devices: cell phones, tablets, netbooks, etc.) and that is the main principle behind the term “responsive web design”. Here is a chart that explains the variety of terms that describe how a site works on a mobile device:
For the sake of clarity, we are going to refer to all sites who adjust based on the device accessing them as “responsive”. The method you choose to build your site with is up to you; this is more focused on why you want your site to be considered responsive more than how you choose to make it that way.
How Will Having A Responsive Website Help My Business?
Your website is the first thing a lot of your customers will see before even entering your physical store, assuming you have one. You, or your company, spent a lot of time and money developing a website that encompassed the values of the business, presented information cleanly, is easily navigated, and highlighted the most important features of your company. You want those factors to be evident online no matter how your clients choose to access your site. You want the site that appears on a computer to look just as good on a tablet or smart phone. It needs to be easy to use and provide all the information that is important on the go. Culturally, we don’t stop for anything anymore, and a responsive website allows customers to connect directly with your business without having to be in front of a computer.
From a marketing perspective, a responsive website can enhance the effectiveness of your marketing campaign by allowing potential customers to instantly connect with you. There is no delay or attempting to remember to “check that site out when we get home”. Your customers can see your add and immediately look at your website. Modern marketing often utilizes mobile devices to make advertisements more effective, so a responsive web design broadens your marketing options.
If you aren’t using a responsive design, you’re running the risk of your site not displaying properly. Menus, alignments, or images could be skewed or proportioned incorrectly, your client may have to scroll around to find content, or it may be so muddled it’s illegible. By implementing a responsive design, you know everything will be laid out clearly and the most important information can be featured conspicuously.
A responsive layout for your website will also assist in maintaining brand recognition. By making your site responsive you will be able to ensure that your site looks the same whenever or wherever it is accessed. This is especially effective if you choose to have an adaptive layout as that will give you more control over the specific placement of banners, images, and text.
As technology advances, more options become available for handheld devices. For example, the iPhone alone has gone through four different screen sizes and six different screen resolutions since its initial release. Having a responsive website not only allows your customers to see your site at its best as a representation of your business, but it also means there is less of a need to continually redevelop new layouts to keep up with the ever changing technology of mobile devices.
How Do I Make My Site Responsive?
Making your site responsive really depends on how your site is being, or was initially built. For example, if you are using a content management system like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you will be able to find a wide variety of themes that are already designed to be responsive. If you are going down this path, be sure to check any custom CSS that may dictate the layout of your site before making it responsive.
If your theme isn’t already responsive, you can make it so in systems like Joomla through custom coding or modules like Bootstrap. Our Support Center has a helpful article on how to do this!
If your site was custom built, you will want to contact your developer to see what options they have available to make your site responsive. If you haven’t built your site yet, but know you are going to be working with a developer, be sure to ask if they include responsive designs in their services.
Responsive site layouts open a world of possibilities to your site and your business. Not only does it allow you to ensure the online representation of your business is as neat and tidy as your storefront, but it will allow you to connect with more and possibly new demographics of customers.
Czaja Silvasi is a QA Representative who monitors InMotion Hosting’s Sales, Support, Billing and Web Design teams to make sure they are giving our customers their absolute best. When she is not busy at work, she enjoys Roller Derby and organizing over 15 pairs of Chuck Taylor shoes that she keeps in her closet. She also has a few awesome websites she runs, but they are not 100% work appropriate. Czaja first joined InMotion Hosting in 2011 as a Customer Care Representative and recently celebrated her 2 year anniversary with the company.