What is Responsive Web Design — And Why is it So Important in Denver?

 

August 09, 2022
web design matrix in denver
On May 5th, 2015, Google released a statement that confirmed that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”
It was at this point that something called “Responsive web design” became a hot topic for everyone doing website design in Denver and every businesses that relies on them. Websites without a responsive web design would quickly suffer from reduced traffic from Google and a poor user experience.

Responsive Web Design—What Is It?

Take your cell phone out of your pocket or purse, turn it on, and look at the screen. The vast majority of smartphones have small 5” or 7” screens.

Older websites were often designed to work on a particular screen resolution, most often 1920x1080 (aka 1080p), as is found on many laptops or desktop computer monitor. The average pixel size of a cell phone screen is far smaller than a computer monitor. (Even if they offer a far greater number of actual pixels and much crisper resolution.)

As such, when you tried to view a normal website on your cell phone, one of several issues cropped up, such as:

  • Buttons too close together
  • Illegible text
  • Slow loading times
  • Website elements are cut off completely
  • The whole thing is there but it's itsy bitsy and you can't read it

The end result is a hot mess that neither looks good nor works well on a small mobile phone. This resulted in a very poor user experience. Our industry saw the trend of moving from computers to cell phones and realized something needed to be done.

Responsive web design is a web design technique that makes a series of dynamic changes to a website depending on the orientation (landscape or portrait), resolution, and screen size of a device. These changes happen in a fraction of a second—quicker than the human eye can perceive.

A website that was designed responsively looks amazing no matter what device you use to view it—from cell phones to tablets to laptops to 55” television screens. No matter the screen size or resolution, the website will automatically adjust itself to fit perfectly and look great on whatever device you view it on, without having to maintain different versions of the site.

Brief History of Responsive Web Design

To understand why responsive website design is so important, we need to travel back in time to two weeks before Google announced that more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers.

On April 21, 2015, Google released a new search engine algorithm that was affectionately called “Mobilegeddon” by the Search Engine Optimization community. Google would now include “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking factor.

They posted a notice to their blog that explained the update and included the following picture, which clearly demonstrated what is and what isn’t considered “mobile friendly”:

Benefits of a Responsive Web Design

There are two main benefits of working with a responsive web designer in Colorado:

The first is SEO.

With their 2015 announcement of what was and wasn’t considered to be “mobile friendly,” Google had effectively put website designers and owners on notice.

Simply put—either you make the necessary changes to ensure your website is mobile responsive, or Google will start to cut the amount of traffic they send your site. Finally, website owners flocked to get their very old sites redesigned to ensure that they would be responsive.

Google tends to show favor (read: increased traffic and higher rankings) to websites that offer a superior user experience. And if a website isn’t mobile responsive, then it’s providing a poor user experience, and Google will move it to the very back of the search results or reduce the amount of free traffic they send it.

The flip side of this is the carrot: Google started to reward sites that were responsively designed with higher rankings. And we began to move toward the mobile-friendly web we have today.

Improved User Experience

While getting traffic from search engines is very important—it's just as important to consider the experience that people have on your website. After all, the experience on the site itself - not its rankings - determines if a visitor is going to convert.

Let’s pretend that you hired a cut-rate website designer to save a few bucks. While the home and other internal pages may look good on a cell phone, it’s the small details that can really cause trouble.

For example, let’s say that you have a contact form on one of your internal pages. If the buttons are too close together (as is the case with poor responsive web design), the potential customer or client trying to send you a message won’t be able to click the “submit” button on the form.

How to Tell if Your Denver Website is Responsive

You can tell if your website is responsive in two main ways. The first and easiest (and more thorough than just opening it on your phone) is to use a free tool provided by Google called the “mobile-friendly tool.” Simply click that link, enter the URL of your website, and in a minute or two, Google will tell you if your site is mobile responsive.

The second (and slightly more complicated) method is to:

  • Open up the Google Chrome browser
  • Navigate to your website URL
  • Press the Ctrl + Shift + I keys, which will open up Chrome Dev Tools
  • Press the Ctrl + Shift + M keys, which will open the device toolbar
  • Now you can select tablet, mobile, or desktop perspective to view your website
  • Responsive Web Design Examples

If you’d like to see an example of a responsive website, simply visit the Mobile Friendly Tool and enter in the Bizango URL as shown here: https://bizango.com/. You’ll see that the Bizango website is considered responsive as per Google.

Learn More About Responsive Web Design in Denver

For most people, a simple explanation is all they need to understand responsive web design, how it’s created, and why it’s important. Any further technical discussion and their eyes will start to water over in boredom.

However, if you consider yourself a nuts-and-bolts kind of person and would like to learn more, you can visit the W3C page on responsive design. It provides a more in-depth explanation and how to implement it effectively.

Alternatively, you could also contact the friendly web development experts at Bizango. We’ll be more than happy to chat more about responsive web design and the value your business will get from having us incorporate it into your design. (And in 2022, we do incorporate responsive design into every site!)

Denver Web Design Company

Responsive web design is just one of many important elements and factors that a great website should have. At Bizango, we build high-quality, visually stunning, and persuasive websites that convert casual browsers into leads and customers.

Contact us today, and we’ll show you why more Denver businesses trust Bizango for their branding, website, and marketing needs.

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