What does it mean to be ‘responsive’?
If you are in the process of building a website of your own, any research will lend you to an idea of a ‘responsive’ website. This means that your site looks good on any kind of device: from a 2012 BlackBerry to the newest iPad. No side scrolling, no zooming-in or out, and no elements appearing out of proportion.
The term used to be ‘mobile-friendly’ before phones got bigger, laptops turned into tablets, and before screen sizes could be any width you could imagine. Mobile-friendly sites were actually separate sites that were designed differently to look good on a phone. Now, every website needs to be readable and user-friendly all the time, on every device and without a separate mobile site.
The Cold Hard Facts
Instead of relying on the subjective reasons for a responsive site (being up-to-date, appearing professional, etc.), we’ll jump right into the numbers.
As of early 2017, people spent approximately 71% of their digital time on their phones (data from comScore). It’s no surprise that people are on mobile devices, but are they really surfing the web on them? The answer is an unwavering yes.
Around late 2016, the percentage of internet users (globally) on mobile devices surpassed desktop users. That means that more than half of the people surfing the web are doing so on their phones or tablets or the newest strange hybrid of the two. More than half! (StatCounter)
You could argue that perhaps your target market isn’t that of mobile users. You still want your site ranking highly though, right? Well, you can’t have both. Google prefers responsive websites not only over non-responsive sites, but also over ‘mobile friendly’ sites.
I could throw more statistics around like the fact that over 70% of adults own a smart phone, or that the trends are exponentially growing, but I think you get the point (mediakix.com). You don’t have to be a marketing expert to know that you cannot ignore more than half of your market. Hence, the need for a responsive site.
How do I make a responsive site?
If you are building your own site on platforms such as WordPress or Wix, common themes are usually responsive right out of the box. Just make sure to consciously choose these themes that advertise being responsive. Lately, it has been uncommon to find themes that aren’t.
If you are having a company make your website for you, talk to them about responsive options. EZ-NetTools, for example, offers responsive options sure to make your mobile users jump for joy!