Responsive Web Design – What Is It And Why It Is Important? Hero Image

Responsive web design is a technique in which the server delivers the same HTML code to all devices and CSS is used to change how the website renders on each device. In case all search engines are allowed to crawl the page and its assets, then the arrangement is detected automatically.

Shortly, responsive web design makes sure that the content is displayed correctly and identically on all devices, and generates the best possible user experience.

Essential responsive tag and attributes:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1>– The viewport tag is used to tell the browser how to adapt the page on different devices. This tag should be placed in the section of the page. When this tag is missing the browser adapts automatically to desktop scale and size, which reduces the website performance, crawlability, user experience, and decreases the traffic rate as a result of all consequences.

The tag from above supports more than just the above-mentioned attributes. Here you have more:

  • Width – width of the viewport of the device
  • Device-width – The physical width of the device’s screen
  • Height – the virtual height of the viewport of the device
  • Device -height – the physical height of the device
  • Initial-scale – The initial zoom when visiting the page. 1.0 does not zoom.
  • Minimum-scale – The minimum amount the visitor can zoom on the page. 1.0 does not zoom.
  • Maximum scale – The maximum amount the visitor can zoom on the page. 1.0 does not zoom.
  • User-scaleable – Allows the device to zoom in and out. Values are yes or no

Notes:

  • Do not prevent scaling as crawlers and users may find it as an accessibility issue. It’s bad for both user experience and search performance.
  • Do not use these meta tags unless your website is designed to be responsive and work well at that size. Implementing them without a specialist that recommends you to do so, may worsen the case.

Also, when it comes to responsive design, google web fundamentals is a great resource to check out for advice, requirements, and troubleshooting.

Why Responsive Design Is Important

Responsive design helps users, search engines, and your business altogether. Even if it’s not something new a lot of websites have responsive issues that prevent web pages to provide the best user experience, be fully indexable, or have visualization issues on different devices and browsers – especially older ones.
Here are some of the reasons why Mobiteam recommends responsive, and the entire web community supports these statements generally:

  • UX/UI – in addition to having an adjusted display visualization, a responsive website makes it easier to share links or pieces of content from a page to somewhere else.
    Search Engine Rankings – a responsive website helps search engine algorithms understand the elements. The fewer issues a website has, the better your content is displayed and understand by Google, Yahoo, Bing, or Yandex.
  • Less maintenance time – using responsive web design will require less time to maintain the same content for multiple pages
  • Reduces the possibility of encountering errors and issues for mobile websites
  • Time optimization – responsive websites have lower response times, and better loading speed compared to non-responsive websites. Since the page loading speed is lower, the higher the chances that your website will be accepted by search engines.
  • Saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site. For responsive web design pages, a single Googlebot user agent only needs to crawl your page once, rather than crawling multiple times with different Googlebot user agents to retrieve all versions of the content. This improvement in crawling efficiency can indirectly help Google index more of your site’s content and keep it appropriately fresh.

Common Mistakes

Based on our experience, these are the most common mistakes that business owners do when designing for mobile:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS, and Image Files – For the best rendering it is preferable to let search engines crawl and access JavaScript, CSS, and Image files. This helps bots to see your website as a regular user, or close to that, and perceive all elements as they are. Not distorted or twisted
  • Unplayable video content – Some types of content are not playable on mobile devices, which causes frustration among users. The content may be restrained for different reasons, such as media licenses, unsupported video players, and others. In this case, using HTML5 standard tags could solve the issue
  • Bad redirects – in the case of websites that have mobile and desktop URLs set differently, it happens that redirecting goes thru cross-device URLs, which is a mistake. One single URL address for all devices (responsive) solves the entire redirect problem because the same content is displayed on multiple devices without changing the URL

Conclusion

Responsive is a modern and the most viable solution to desktop/mobile websites. Owning a responsive website will allow you to reach your audience much faster, help your target audience understand your content better, and see your products without frustration.

Yet, so far multiple websites still have responsive issues or unimplemented parts that lead to performance, UX, and indexing issues. As a quick reminder, Mobiteam designs and develops fully responsive websites that attract, convert and sell.

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