In today's increasingly mobile society, the importance of having a responsive web design can't be overstated. Everything that was true about people doing searches from their computers is even more true with mobile devices.
Users want local information fast, and they want it displayed in a way that's easy to interact with from their mobile devices.
For a few years having separately built mobile sites, or mobile "apps", were popular. The trouble with this approach was that, as a separate entity, any update the business wanted to make it its main site had to be repeated on the mobile version.
This doubled the workload for the staff or the billable time for the business' web design company. And if the business wanted to update the overall design of their site? That too would have to be repeated onto a new mobile version design.
The Efficiency of Responsive Web Design
A responsive web design, on the other hand, is a one-time development investment. The website developer builds the mobile theme right alongside the main design, and both designs are contained within the site's overall theme. This means that the actual information of the site — the content, photos, etc. — remain identical both places.
Any time the site is updated, the changes will be reflected across the mobile version of the site automatically since they share content. This means the mobile version of the site will always be current with everything being shared on the full site, so your mobile viewers won't be missing out on news, specials, and other information.
Improved Page Loading with Responsive Web Design
Sometimes the difference can be minor and serve as one of many elements that go into efficient page loading. Other times it can have a much more profound impact on how fast the site loads for mobile users.
Part of this is because a responsive web design is more or less a reorganization of the original theme that can be loaded from the same place. With a separate mobile site, your PC is connecting to the website's hosting to find a redirect code, then has to load the mobile site separately, and possibly from another server. This and many other factors can add up, and can make the difference between a site that loads quickly and one that lags and loses traffic.
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