(*This article originally ran on typemonkeys.com, where I work with an awesome graphic designer to create websites and other marketing materials.)
What makes a website responsive?
You may have heard about “responsive websites,” but might not know what they are. “Responsive” means the website responds to different-sized devices so the user experiences your website optimally whether using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. It looks terrific no matter what device you’re viewing it on.
It’s shocking how many larger companies do not have responsive websites! In fact, as of June 2013, only 11 percent of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies had responsive sites.
Here are a few notable sites that are not yet responsive:
Merrill Lynch (ml.com)
Here are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to create a responsive website:
• How likely will your customers or audience want to find you when they’re on the go and away from their home or office?
• How young is your audience? The younger the audience, the more likely they are to use their smart phones and tablets. They might not even use a desktop computer!
• How old is your website? If you’ve had your site for 5 or more years, it’s probably ready for a facelift anyway. If you’re going to update, you might as well make it responsive.
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• How much of your business or website traffic comes from Google? Google prefers responsive website design, giving higher rankings to sites with it, because a responsive means just one site for Google to crawl and index.
• How likely is your audience to use different-sized computer screens, even if they don’t use mobile? Even if your customers don’t use smart phones, they likely vary between different-sized monitors, and a responsive site solves that problem, too.