This article was originally published on the Spectrum blog.
In late 2012, we published an article about responsive website design, or RWD, a revolutionary new approach to crafting sites, which delivers an optimal viewing experience for users regardless of the device they're using. Consider this your 2013 update.
Unlike regular websites that aren't able to differentiate between a desktop, tablet or Smartphone, a website built with RWD instantly adjusts its layout for perfect usability and readability. It's a technology that's becoming increasingly relevant for small- to medium-sized businesses that are trying to capture quality leads on the Internet. With that said, large and in charge companies that do business on a global scale are also utilizing RWD to improve their websites and their user experience in general. Here are five benefits that apply to Fortune 500 companies as well as your own:
If you want your website to be relevant to a mobile audience (and given that nearly 50% of all pages views are coming from smart phones these days, we know you do) but you don't want to use RWD, your only other option would be to make a separate URL for your desktop website and your mobile website. Responsive design sites only have one URL, which means your search engine optimization won't become diluted.
Because the code for your responsive design website is all in one centralized place, making content and design changes to your website is much easier than, say, updating the several versions of your site your webmaster built out for several devices, like desktops, tablets and smart phones.
Good for Facebook, Twitter, etc.:
Given the incredible reach and influence of social media these days, businesses cannot afford not to have a presence on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. It's also important to offer a consistent experience for all your social users. For example, links should produce the same effect regardless of what device they're viewed on. That's where responsive design can make all the difference.
Tracking & Web Analytics:
Understanding your website visitors' engagement is incredibly important to improving your site's conversion rates and overall effectiveness. A responsive design site, which allows you to track data from a single URL as opposed to multiple, will make the process much, much simpler.
Google now urges webmasters to use responsive web design, calling it an "industry best practice." BOOM.
Great companies have always understood that creating a user experience that's simple and refreshing is the key to creating an awesome website. Responsive website design is the latest tool that marketers and designers are using to ensure that their websites are, in fact, awesome. Below is a list of companies everyone should know. They're also companies who've made the switch to responsive design. Click through to their website and experience the difference this technology can make:
The multinational software developer's embrace of responsive website design has created a substantial buzz in the industry. It's a move that many believe will have a profound impact on the "mainstream" business owner and whether or not to take their own site into RWD.
When a company like Disney, whose website is as complex and media-heavy as they come, fully transitions into RWD, it gives the technology validity and clout like never before.
Sony is a trusted, well-branded company with incredible depth and social reach. Its engineers are constantly seeking out ways to improve the 'user experience.' As a company that strives to improve the lives of others with technology, it's no wonder the marketers at Sony thought RWD would be a natural next step.
Coffee and responsive design go together well. Both are optimal for on-the-go enjoyment and efficiency.
The news giant with a global readership of over 25 million went responsive back in October of 2012. The move just made sense for a magazine that wanted people to enjoy their articles no matter where they were. RWD now allows readers to pull up TIME anywhere and from any device.
This online resource site gets nearly 70 million unique visitors every month -- a number that would be significantly lower if every reader was still confined to their desktop, or worse yet, stifled by the need to constantly zoom in on their iPhone. Ugh.
If you're one of Mashable's 20 million unique monthly visitors, you may have noticed that the leading news and information source has adopted a new look and feel. Here's a quote from an article they pushed out titled "Why 2013 Is the Year of Responsive Web Design":
"The benefits are obvious: You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens."