What is Responsive Web Design?
There are various ways to serve mobile-friendly websites to your patients. Let’s start out by defining what makes a website ‘Responsive’.
A responsive website serves the same website on the same address regardless of your patient’s device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser). However, it adapts the layout and content differently (i.e., “responds”) based on the requirements of the exact screen size. We have more information about responsive web design on our website »
Why is Responsive Web Design the Best?
It is recommended by Google
When Google speaks, We listen. In April 2015, Google started rewarding sites that are mobile-friendly. This effectively penalizes those that are not. Here are some of the reasons Google gives for it’s preference of responsive design over other methods:
- Responsive Design makes it easier for users to share and link to your content with a single URL.
- Requires less engineering time to maintain multiple pages for the same content. (Time is money right?)
- Reduces the possibility of the common mistakes that affect mobile sites
- Requires no redirection for users to have a device-optimized view. This reduces load time. Also, user agent-based redirection is error-prone and can degrade your site’s user experience (See Future Proof below)
- Saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site. For responsive web design pages, a single Googlebot user agent only needs to crawl your page once, rather than crawling multiple times with different Googlebot user agents to retrieve all versions of the content. This improvement in crawling efficiency can indirectly help Google index more of your site’s content and keep it appropriately fresh.
Mobile usage is exploding
According to Nielson, “Smartphone penetration grew to 80% of U.S. mobile subscribers at the end of September 2015 from 78% at the start of the year.”
One of the most important benefits of responsive website design vs. other mobile techniques, is that this approach gives you the best chance to support all the new mobile devices being released all the time. Responsive sites are fluid. They scale up or down as required to best fit the screen being used to access your website. This means that as new devices hit the market, with unpredictable screen sizes, your site will already be prepared. It will meet those new devices with open arms and a design best suited to whatever screens they throw at it.
What do you think about responsive design? Is it something you’ve already implemented or are you planning to do so soon? Share your thoughts below!