Responsive websites

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By Polar Creative’s Lee Sturgess:

Why tradespeople need a fast and responsive web design.

Improve user experience and engagement with your website on any device.

Stay visible in search and enhance your conversion rates with a responsive web design that loads rapidly and works well across all devices.

Gone are the days where your website will be viewed solely from the screen of a desktop computer. Since mobile web usage surpassed that of desktop in 2016, there has been an increase in companies shifting focus to how their website fares across multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets.

There is a particular emphasis on web design as a way to stand out from the crowd. If your site looks appealing and is easy to navigate then it stands to reason that visitors will enjoy exploring your site. Yet, in order to really gain an advantage over the competition, your website will need a fast and responsive design to succeed in 2017.

The Role of responsiveness:

When a potential customer launches your website, they expect it to fit the screen on the device that they’re using. If it doesn’t load correctly, or looks unappealing, then they’ll quickly click out and you’ll lose out on the work. By having a responsive website, background technology will allow it to adapt to the screen that it is being viewed on.

A responsive site typically uses CSS media queries to change styles based on the width and height of the target device. By making your website responsive, you will increase engagement with your site visitors, which will assist in turning those initial clicks into customers.

Responsive versus Adaptive:

The alternative to having a responsive website is to use an adaptive approach.

With an adaptive web design, webmasters need to use a number of static layouts which will detect the screen size of the tablet, desktop or mobile that is being used before loading the appropriate layout. Typically, a minimum of six layouts would be necessary in order to cover the most common screen widths.

In comparison, responsive web design is much easier to manage when there is only one single layout to consider. Each time you need to update your content, you need to do so only once, which will bring down the costs of your web management.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

Google’s preferred approach to web design layout for mobiles is responsive.When the search engine backs a particular technique, it is wise to pay attention. Google’s algorithms place a lot of emphasis on how mobile-friendly a website is, ever since mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in early 2015.

They even offer a handy mobile-friendly test so that you can ensure your website can be viewed correctly by visitors who are using any device. Sites that pass the test with flying colours are more likely to rank well within the search results.

One of the key elements to designing a web layout that is optimal for web visitors is to ensure that it loads quickly when a user clicks on it within a search engine or types in the URL.
40% of users are thought to abandon a web page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load on a mobile device; therefore, it is essential to prioritise speed over other features such as JavaScript which may add bells and whistles to the look, but will slow your page launch right down.

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