Not all websites are created equal. Websites that were designed within the past year are vastly different from websites that were built even 3 years ago. One of the main factors that define strong web design is whether it is responsive or not. Let’s take a look at what responsive web design is, why it’s important, and best practices for beginners.
What is Responsive Web Design?
The first thing you need to know is that mobile-friendly is not the same as responsive design. A website that is mobile-friendly does not necessarily have responsive design. However, a website that has responsive design will display properly on a mobile device.
Responsive:The term “responsive” refers to a web design that responds to the user accessing the website from a particular device. A responsive website retains all of the same features and content types (video, images, text, structure), but either expands or shrinks to accommodate the screen size of the device (mobile phone, phablet, tablet, etc.). All users will see the same website, just different sizes.
Mobile-Optimized: A mobile-optimized or mobile-friendly only website isn’t “responsive” like responsive web design. A mobile-optimized website is a secondary website that visitors are directed to when searching on a mobile device. The mobile-optimized version of the website has to be updated separately from the desktop version of the website.
What Google says about Responsive Design
The truth is that the developers at Google (the ones managing the search engine’s algorithm) recommend responsive design. As the number one search engine worldwide, it’s always a good idea to follow Google’s recommendations when building your website. There are 6 main reasons Google’s developers have listed to back up their recommendation for responsive design. The reasons they recommend for responsive design are: