“Be Responsive or Be Left Out”
The term “responsive” was coined in May of 2010.
Responsive sites dynamically change layout depending on the device accessing the site. (Tablet/smart phones etc) to best fit and format for readability or usability. Google currently has a preference for responsive Web design and is trending to only continue in popularity. This is both because of the benefits of SEO/accessibility factors and especially as so many more people only use their mobile devices to surf the net anymore. Providing an easy way for users to access your web site from a smart phone is what ideally all businesses should aim to do.
Why Does It Matter?
Because it’s better and you will only hurt yourself in the long run if your site is not responsive.
Responsive Design, What Does It Cost?
If you have a relatively simple brochure website for your business, modifying your existing website to be responsive design may cost you as little as several hundred dollars to perhaps a few thousand. That is assuming the design lends itself to becoming responsive. But if you haven’t redesigned your website in several years chances are you’ll need to go through a complete redesign process and the answer to what it will cost is, as usual, “it depends.” If you have a vendor you work with you on your website, simply ask them if it’s possible to overhaul your existing website to be responsive, and what it will cost.
The Future Is Mobile
While going responsive can present challenges for website owners and online marketers, I return to my previous point that without a mobile-friendly website your future online is bleak. If you’re not providing a mobile-friendly experience for your customers, they’ll bounce off your website and go to your competitor whose website is easier to use. The future is mobile, as we see people increasingly favoring their mobile devices over desktop computers. Nielsen says that over 60% of all mobile phone owners in the US use a smartphone. A recent study by Walker Sands Digital showed mobile traffic to its client base increasing by 171 since Q3 2011. Statista says that 5 billion people will use mobile phones by 2017. Making your website responsive is a small price to pay to reach all these people.
“If you read Peter Cashmore’s piece from almost a year ago proclaiming 2013 to be The Year of Responsive Web Design you might wonder if you’re too late. No, you’re not, because in all likelihood all your competitors are late to the game as well. 2013 turned out to be the year when those companies and industries that tend to stay somewhere just behind the cutting edge of online marketing and web design got their acts together when it comes to responsive design. Most businesses lag behind the cutting edge by at least a year when it comes to such things. You’ve been safe for the time being, but now your competitors are figuring things out.