4 Reasons to Go Responsive for the New Year

David Jeppson

January 9, 2013

Okay, so despite the forecast of the Mayan calendar, it looks like we survived 2012.

With the beginning of the new year, it may be a little redundant to bring up the topic of New Year’s resolutions. However, if you have been thinking that it may be time to overhaul that clunky old website of yours, then you are right. One of the best ways to start the year off right is to sport a site that touts the latest trends in both frontend and backend design. It’s time to go responsive!

In the true spirit of the holidays, an abundance of sweet new devices were unwrapped last month in all their various shapes and sizes, and more users had the ability to browse your site and partake of the greatness you have to offer. BUT…only if you’re using responsive design. (If you’re still in the dark about what we’re talking about, check out this simple explanation of what responsive design is.) If perhaps Santa skipped your house, or you were too busy preparing for the apocalypse and your site is not responsive, both you and your users are missing out on some sweet advantages.

When deciding on your resolutions for this year, take a look at these four reasons to resolve to invest in responsive design:

1.  Preferred SEO

Search engine spiders and algorithms favor sites that are able to serve all devices with one URL, as compared to sites that have separate URLs for different devices and/ or screen sizes.

2.  Less Work and Lower Cost

Responsive sites are generally more complicated to program than a traditional site, which means they are more expensive to build short term. However, if you have to build and maintain several separate sites to enable delivery to the mobile and tablet audiences, you are in for some higher bills and more maintenance long term.

3.  Forward (Mobile) Thinking

It’s common knowledge nowadays that mobile computing is not only here, but is typically expected by the user. When I visit a website on my mobile device, I expect that it will load in an aesthetic format. Having a solid responsive site ensures compatibility with the ever-growing variety of devices and screen sizes.

4.  Load Time Benefits

Many people have limited data plans. If your users are repeatedly visiting a non-responsive site, they can quickly burn though their allotted data and may want to avoid your site while browsing from their phones and tablets. Responsive sites can serve up your content with fewer or smaller images based on what device they are using, which saves your users time and money.

All in all, responsive design allows you to reach the greatest number of users with the least amount of cost and complexity. Users can access your content on whatever device, large or small, and have a similar user experience. In fact, recent Google research concluded that, “90 percent of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV.”

So is Mashable’s declaration of “2013 as the Year of Responsive Web Design” accurate? Only time will tell if they’re better at predictions than the Mayans, but since the world didn’t end, make it your resolution to add responsive design to your website.