What Google Says About Responsive Web Design & Why I do It

Responsive content in web design
Image By Stéphanie Walter [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
We all love data and we spend time monitoring our Google analytics and website statistics.  Anyone doing this will notice the increase in mobile traffic.  Many key sites get a large percentage of page views via tablets and smartphones.  We are seeing large numbers of visitors with hi-tech screens that are only a small number of pixels wide.

Google is committed to accessibility and to providing a good experience for all users, regardless of their device.  They opt for responsive web design for their own websites rather than completely separate mobile websites.  Responsive web design means that the content of the website becomes liquid and pours itself into place to display well on any screen size.  It also means that the user does not have to scroll horizontally or zoom in, they can simply read down.

Google favours this approach because the same content is delivered to every device and it is just the layout that is different. Plus website pages only need one address because you don’t need separate addresses for desktop and mobile sites.  All of this makes it much easier for Google to index your site and discover your content. Equally, it is much easier for users to interact and share your content.  Better all round for search engine optimisation and for web developers.

Google are very open about their recommendations for responsive design, which you can see in the developer guide.

Mobile networks are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly popular. There is no doubt that responsive design techniques are here to stay.

Why do I choose Responsive Design?

  • As a freelance web designer my job is to ensure that your website has the best chance of being discovered by your target audience, ultimately driving revenue for your business.  Search engine optimisation plays a huge part in this and so we need follow Google’s recommendations.
  • It is more cost-effective to adapt an existing website rather than to start from scratch with a completely new site for mobiles.
  • When a beautiful desktop design exists, it makes perfect sense for the same design to carry through to smartphones and tablets.

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