What does responsive mean?
How many times have you looked at a website through your mobile phone and thought how cramped or small or even unreadable it looks? A responsive website means that the design, words and how it generally looks is clear and readable by a human across all devices, your mobile phone, a tablet such as an iPad and of course your laptop/desktop computer.
If your website isn’t classed as ‘responsive’ by the Google Search Engine your website may be given a lower ranking score. This means that you may not appear in search results as highly as it could be. For instance, if your website looks great on a desktop computer but you struggle to read the content on a mobile phone Google will not like that.
These days designers, including myself, design a website for viewing on a mobile as a first priority. We then look at how it looks across a tablet and a desktop computer. It’s often the case that the design you see on a laptop isn’t exactly the same on a smaller screen purely due to the available screen space. That said, the information is still all there, it just looks slightly different.
A good web designer will know how to make certain aspects of a website visible across different devices or ‘view ports’ as they are called. The text size will be different, the way that pictures are sized and laid out will flow downwards instead of across and headings will have their own size too.
Looking at statistics for all the websites I’ve created here at Woof Designs, I see that the websites are mostly accessed by using mobile phones such as the iPhone and Android mobiles. It’s often more convenient to pick up your phone and search for that business or service you need than waiting to get home and use your laptop.
Time to load
Without getting all technical, one other major factor is the time a website takes to show on your screen. This is huge, the last thing you want as a website visitor is to have to wait for a long time for the website to load on your screen. Let’s be honest, in todays world, we are all a little impatient and expect a result to show the minute you click a link, right? Google does too. In fact, when a website is linked to Google Analytics one of the available tools is a speed calculator. This will analyse how your website is viewed by a robot, what it looks like, how long it takes to appear on the screen and a whole lot more.
So you see, if your website doesn’t look good across all devices, especially a mobile phone it won’t be classed as a ‘responsive’ website by your clients and Google. Using a web designer that knows how to design a strong look and user experience for your website is crucial for it to be found by search engines. We as designers know that it’s not just a case of making the site look good but to make sure it looks good everywhere and by everyone!
If you have any questions about any of the above, just get in touch and I’ll be happy to talk you through it.