What Does It Mean?
Responsive web design indicates that a site will augment its layout, design and even content to enable the best possible user experience regardless of the device, platform or resolution of the visitor. The difference between a retina display in landscape orientation and an older low resolution mobile phone necessitates a website that responds with properly sized images, fonts and formatting
Why is responsive web design the most crucial feature that you can add to your website?
1. Transition Between Platforms
Usage behavior has changed significantly in the last few years with respect to how a visitor arrives at your site and every interaction thereafter. With the advent of shared bookmarks between mobile, tablet, notebook and desktop user behavior traverses multiple devices and platforms. A visitor may first enter your site from a mobile phone , continue from a notebook and complete their visit from a tablet later in the evening. That creates a unique set of obstacles for sites that do not properly deliver an optimized experience for each device in the chain during that process. Sites that do not offer the best experience due to misaligned text, improperly sized images or broken content can easily lose a sale , or customer and ultimately harm their own brand. Ensuring consistency in experience & optimized content delivery for every user should be a top priority of every website.
2. Search Engine Results
Google represents as much as 92% of all search online. That staggering percentage demands a disciplined adherence to published best practices. In that , Google has published guidelines and commented directly on the need to maintain mobile friendly and responsive design in your website for the purposes of SEO. The importance of responsive design in mobile is also clearly visible in the volume of traffic originating from mobile devices as is the fact Google prioritizes geocentric local results in SERPS.
4. Future Growth
One of the best things about a responsive website is that this approach gives you the best chance to support newer devices and screens in the future. Responsive sites are fluid, scaling up or down as needed to best fit the screens being used to access the site. This means that as new devices hit the market with screen sizes unlike what we have seen before, our responsive websites will already be prepared to meet those new devices with a design and experience best suited to whatever screen sizes they throw at us.