With the mushrooming of mobile phones access to the Internet has become quite easy. As a result of this humongous boom in the sweep of Internet cutting across geographies and languages, a large number of companies have joined the digital bandwagon through websites. These websites reflect the brand and contain information about the companies on the Internet so much so that their profitability is largely defined by the number of users visiting or carrying out transactions on the respective sites. Intense competition on the digital platform has led companies to rethink about their content or redesign their websites to be in tune with the evolving changes in technology and user preferences.One such change in user preferences is about accessing the Internet on smartphones. It seems accessing the Internet on desktops and laptops through routers has given way to smartphones that work on faster processors and services such as 3G and 4G. As smartphones have become the preferred medium to access the Internet each website designing company has a choice before it – to build different versions of websites for various devices or build a single responsive website that fits into any device.
What is responsive web designing?
According to this approach, web designers use CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) codes to build websites that can fit into any device platform irrespective of its type, make and size. In other words, a website that can be seen on a desktop can be seen on a smartphone or tablet as well, albeit fitting to the latter’s size. The CSS enabled code ensures the website resizes itself and adjusts to a particular device for easy viewing. If a website designing company, especially in countries such as India does not take into account a website’s visibility on a smartphone, chances of that website remaining out of reckoning as far as user traffic is concerned, remains very high.
Advantages of responsive web designing
No multiple variants: Web designers do not have to build multiple web variants to suit different device architecture but can create a single one that adjusts the browser size to fit into any device, be it a desktop, laptop, smartphone, phablet or tablet. This entails faster web development at a lesser cost, which in context of existing competition on the digital platform can be beneficial indeed.
Customer satisfaction: If customers find a website duly fitting into a device’s screen, besides providing a good user experience in terms of navigation and reading content, the chances of customers taking fancy to that site are very high. Conversely, customers would shun the site if its usability and viewing experience are not up to satisfaction.
SEO benefits: As world’s leading search engine, Google has adopted mobile first index as its preferred algorithm to search and rank websites for users, a responsive website would do well to fit into that ecosystem.
Single URL: Creating multiple web variants to suit different devices would mean multiple URLs as well. This would create problems as far as implementing the process of web analytics is concerned. Moreover, a single URL would be better placed to garner higher search rankings vis-a-vis multiple ones.
There are a few downsides to responsive web designing as well
Latency: As the core architecture contains a lot of programming codes – in order to create a singular all encompassing architecture that fits all device sizes – it takes some time for these codes to load onto the device’s memory. This leads to the problem of system latency.
Unknown system issues: As this design paradigm is still evolving there might be system issues while loading a responsive website onto a specific device. This might mar the user experience.