Over 100 Million tablets (ie. iPad) will sell in 2012. PC sales are projected to decrease in 2013, an almost unprecedented event. According to a study by Nielsen, the majority of mobile subscribers in the United States own smartphones. The problem for website designers and business owners becomes how do you make sure that your web presence displays properly in all of these competing environments? The only sure answer is to create a Responsive Web Design.
A responsive web design uses code called “media queries” to determine the screen resolution of device that is displaying the website. The images and grids of the website are designed in a fashion that allows them to resize themselves to fit the screen. One version of the site morphs to display on the screen that the website visitor is using.
Many have been discouraged by the cost of responsive web design due to the fact that it is somewhat labor intensive for the web developer. In the long run, I firmly believe that responsive web design will be the most cost effective method of addressing the explosion in tablets, smartphones and even larger monitors that web users are using to view websites. From a marketing standpoint, Google itself has recommended responsive web design as the best practice in creating a site that is compatible with the new proliferation of web browsing environments. There is a proven protocol to optimize mobile sites and avoid duplicate content issues with the conventional site. But if you subtract the cost of time and effort required to create mobile sites and implement the correct strategy for mobile SEO from the additional cost of the responsive design, and factor in that the responsive web design is a long-term solution, the responsive design option becomes much more affordable, even for a small to medium sized business.
Bottom Line: Responsive web design is the best solution we have to effectively reach and provide a positive experience for the website visitors that use the ever-growing number of portable internet-enabled devices, such as smartphones, in the marketplace.