Responsive web design - that's why it's important

by Guidebook

Imagine calling up a website via your mobile phone. But instead of being greeted by a user-friendly interface, you have to scroll and zoom your fingers for all they're worth. You realise that you have landed on a page that is not adapted to mobile devices. If you're like me and your patience is more like a fuse than a tightrope, you'll want to move on and try your luck somewhere else. Namely on a site with responsive web design...

Mobile optimisation through responsive web design

Responsive design means that the content and elements of a website are flexibly adapted to the respective screen size of the end device. This means you always get a good user experience - whether desktop PC, tablet or small smartphone. In this context, the Viewport plays an important role. It designates the part of a website that can be layered without scrolling in the respective browser window.

Responsive" is thus a form of mobile optimisation, but not the only Possibility. Further options of mobile adaptation will in this article very clearly illustrated. An additional alternative would be to develop a separate mobile version of the website, accessible under a subdomain.

The bottom line is that responsive web design is probably the most effective variant of mobile adaptation. However, it is also the most complex to implement. However, if you don't have a professional sitting next to you, you don't have to look into the void. For the popular CMS WordPressThere are numerous good themes that provide responsive web design at the same time.

3 reasons for a responsive design

Now you may be asking yourself: do you really have to follow every trend and suddenly responsive be? Of course, you don't have to do anything at first. But if you want to convince many people of your website, a flexible mobile adaptation plays an important role for several reasons:

The majority of users surf mobile!

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to access the internet, you usually sat in front of a computer. Nowadays, it's a very different story. According to Data from the Federal Statistical Office about 81 % of internet users surfed mobile via smartphone in 2016. The desktop PC is used significantly less, at 65 %. High usability has therefore become even more important for mobile devices than for the good old computer.

Conversely, this means: Those who do not offer their users a positive user experience for mobile devices must expect to lose readers or customers. And not only that: they also lose out when it comes to attracting new customers. A Google study from 2012 showed that almost 50 % of users are quite annoyed if the website is not mobile optimised.

Due to the prominence of mobile internet usage, many developers are now pursuing the "mobile-first"approach. Here, a website is first created for mobile use and only then expanded for desktop use.

Responsive design improves Google ranking

In addition, a responsive design is relevant for the Search engine optimisation is. Google has a great interest in presenting only the crème de la crème of websites matching the search term to its customers. In this context, it is not only content relevance and Unique Content but also a high level of user-friendliness and logical structure. And since pages that are not mobile-optimised are particularly annoying to use on the go, "mobile-friendliness" has been considered an important ranking factor by Google since April 2015.

In other words: with a flexible design you gain valuable SEO points.

Here you can test for free how mobile-friendly your site is.

Responsive design is good for the image

We decide within a second whether we like a website or not. So it's not about the content at first, but about the overall impression. If the visit to the page takes place via mobile phone - which is very likely - and the page is not mobile-optimised, this does not leave a good impression.

This is not only because the operation is a horror. A lack of mobile adaptation is quite simply oldschool. And who trusts a website that is stuck somewhere in the 2000s? Responsive design shows that you move with the times and care about your website.

Mobile optimised: more than just responsive design!?

Does this mean that with a flexible design - whether developed in-house or provided by the WordPress theme - mobile optimisation is a thing of the past? Strictly speaking, no. Because it only concerns the optimisation of design and navigation. Of course, this is worth a lot, because as already mentioned above, the first impression is worth its weight in gold.

But if you want to perfect your site holistically for mobile use, you go one step further and devote yourself to the content or the density of information. These should be more compact in the mobile version than on the PC. The reason: people have even less time on the move. Ideally, all important information is already visible without scrolling.

Now, as a small website operator, you may have neither the time nor the know-how to produce two content versions. In that case, you might just find a happy medium: try to design your content directly so that it is appealing for both the PC and the smartphone.

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