Things were so simple in the 90’s, weren’t they? All you had to do was build a website and you had website traffic. Now we have to use search engine optimization (SEO) and develop responsive websites to be found. We have to build responsive websites to provide a consistent experience across devices. And next it’s accelerated mobile pages (AMP).
Let’s face the reality though, in 2016 and beyond, your customers are highly likely to access your website not only on desktop but also on mobile devices and tablets. In addition they are likely to access your website on various resolution sizes as they switch from their desktop to their laptop, and from their work computer to their home computer. This is exactly why your website design has to accommodate various screen sizes.
What Is Responsive Website Design?
Responsive website design is what enables a web page to change as the screen size it’s being viewed on changes. A wide screen display can receive a site design with multiple columns of content and maximize that available space while a smaller screen can take that same content and present it in an alternate layout that is appropriately sized to be read and used on that display.
Most people confuse this new web standard with the outdated mobile website design strategy which solved part of this issue by creating an entirely separate website using “mobile.mydomain.com” or “mydomain.mobi”. That approach however was against best practices and didn’t fare well with Google and other search rankings. This approach to development is not just Google’s recommendation, but more like their requirement. Google further suggests that responsive website design will perform better in search rankings because they provide a better user experience than sites that are not mobile friendly.
Responsive design is a technique that adapts to the user’s screen size and device environment. It serves the same website to everyone but all the content on the website is adapted to the user’s screen size for creating the best experience. Responsive designs today not only adapt to PC and mobile screens but TV and tablets too. A recent survey by Google suggests that 73% of customers use their mobile devices to surf the web, however, only 20% of the companies are prepared. Test your site here (http://www.responsinator.com) to check how it looks on various devices. If your website is not prepared, this is a great time to get ahead of your competition.
What Are the Benefits of Responsive Web Design?
Usability: Studies have shown that users tend to start shopping on one device and end on another. Research before making a purchase can involve two and even three devices. When a website is optimized to have a consistent experience for all devices, users are able to find what they want, when they want, and make the purchase at their convenience.
Search Engine Friendly: Responsive web design reduces general search engine optimization errors and helps with implementing SEO techniques effectively. It also adheres to Google’s requirements for creating a website optimized for mobile devices. Google’s ranking mechanism may be a secret but it is quite clear that websites featuring responsive designs are ranked higher.
Cost and Time: A responsive website, unlike a mobile website works on a single URL and from the same source code, separating the design layer. It creates a seamless experience not just for your users but search engines too. This results in less maintenance (website development) costs on an on-going basis.
Increased Mobile Conversions: According to a survey by WardTechTalent, 57% of users don’t recommend a website that doesn’t look consistent on their mobile device and 40% will prefer a competitor’s website which offers a better experience on their mobile device. You may be losing customers if your website is not responsive.
The Magento store offers some great free and paid responsive themes, you can hire a Magento website designer to customize the theme or a Magento website developer to adapt it for your requirements. You may also apply the Magento theme by following the instructions that come with it. Today, we bring some of the most popular themes to get you started:
Developers are Making Responsive Easy
Whether you are using WordPress, Drupal, Magento, or another platform, they all have native themes that are responsive. If you don’t like it or you don’t have the ability to modify the theme to your liking, there are thousands of relatively cheap themes that you can purchase and install on your platform. Here are some that are available on the Magento Commerce platform:
- Response – Responsive Theme (http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/response-responsive-theme.html): Response is a fully responsive Magento theme and boilerplate for html5 responsive websites.
- HelloWired Free Theme (http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/hellowired-free-theme-1.html): Say Hello to HelloWired, take your store to the next level with this great free theme.
- Responsive Theme Framework (Unlimited Colors) (http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/responsive-theme-framework-unlimited-colors.html): Responsive Magento theme for fashion mall, fashion shopping center built-in with EM Theme Framework.
- Mobile Shoppe – A Responsive Theme by Creative Glance (http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/mobile-shoppe-a-responsive-theme-by-creative-glance.html):A highly scalable and robust responsive Magento theme by Creative Glance for all business store.
- Grayscale (http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/grayscale.html):Nice, minimal Magento theme (5 Skins included).
The research for this article was done by a staff writer for LDA Interactive, a Los Angeles based web design agency. Contact LDA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 342-1770 for a website consultation from one of our specialists.