Responsive web design, or RWD, is an increasingly popular kind of site design that responds to whatever device the user is on at the moment. 67% of users say they would be than from one that is not. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that RWD has grown so popular in recent years. When combined with SEO, RWD can help your site convert leads and make sales on any device the user might happen to be using. Here’s a bit more about the anatomy of a responsive website.

 

Responsive Web Design: The Basics

RWD blends design and development so that and environment. Instead of needing to design a separate site for every conceivable screen size and orientation, a responsive site will simply adapt to meet the user’s needs regardless of the device they’re using. At the core of RWD is a combination of fluid grids, layouts, text and images that are designed to be flexible. The result? Users have the ability to go back and forth between checking out your website on an iPad one moment and a desktop the next, then keep browsing on their Blackberry as they head out the door.

This automatic switch occurs in response to the size and orientation of the device, altering graphics, text placement, scripting and resolution, so that the user has a positive experience no matter where they view your website. When you utilize RWD, you don’t really need different designs and development phases custom tailored for every gadget. RWD must account for the ways in which users view websites, not only taking into account landscape and portrait positioning, but also any of the hundreds of different screen sizes that might be used to view the site.

 

Comparing Responsive Design with Adaptive Design

Adaptive web design, or AWD, is a little bit different than RWD, but the distinction is subtle. With RWD, you create a website that responds to the unique behavior and environment of users, which fluctuates with the platform type, such as laptop or smart phone. This occurs automatically. A site that features adaptive web design, or AWD, requires the user to choose from two different versions of your website: one is meant for viewing on laptops and desktops and one for tablets and smart phones. RWD has , while AWD is characterized by a limited number of predefined screen sizes. Adaptive design requires a little more from the user, making responsive design preferable nine times out of ten.

 

Why Responsive Design Is Preferable

Many businesses prefer to utilize a RWD site because it’s simply easier on the user, and anything that’s easy to use makes potential customers happy. Google recommends RWD as the preferred mobile configuration, which is reason enough to choose responsive design for your business’s site. Responsive design allows Google to index both URL and HTML regardless of device, making things easier when it comes to searching, organizing content, drawing and indexing search results. With separate mobile and desktop sites, the HTML varies, which forces Google to index the desktop and mobile sites separately.

 

Benefits of Responsive Web Design

RWD enhances the viewability and easy navigation of your website. This makes it more likely that your potential customers will stay longer on your site—and possibly make a purchase. If a user comes across your site but can’t find what they’re looking for readily, they may just navigate away and try elsewhere. In fact, to find what they need. These same users are more likely to stay on your site if the design allows them to find what they want without having to scroll and resize to find information. With RWD, you can increase your conversion rates, which is crucial because about 70% of tablet users make a purchase on mobile-friendly devices each month.

Use RWD to your advantage and tap into the many smart phone and tablet users that navigate your site on the fly.