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Responsive web design: Do you really need it?

Responsive Web Design means that your website will adjust itself according to the screen size it’s being displayed on. As a result, users across a wide range of devices (smartphones/tablets) and normal web browsers will have access to a single source of content, laid out so as to be easy to read and navigate with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling.

Pros of Responsive Web Design

• Consistent content: You no longer need to have a separate mobile website which could double your updating efforts.

• Smoother user experience: The responsive design is designed to maximize the user’s experience. Users find it much easier to navigate and use sites that are customized for the device they are using.

• SEO: With a responsive design, there is only one URL, which is not the case if you create each site separately. Your SEO will not become diluted with all of the different URL’s, so this will help your rankings.

• Stats: If you are redirecting users to a mobile-friendly version of your website, your stats are going to be split between the two, which could make for difficult analysis and reporting. To get insights on mobile visitors, create a "mobile-only" segment.

• New Devices: New devices with various screen sizes are being created each day. With responsive design, there is no need to create a whole new website every time a new screen-sized device is introduced into the market.

Cons of Responsive Web Design

• Load time: Mobile users will be downloading unnecessary HTML/CSS code (not a huge deal) and most of the time, images are simply scaled down, NOT resized — negatively impacting the load-time.

• Development: The initial development of responsive web design takes much longer. Generally it is much easier to create RWD from scratch than to convert an existing site

• Design: You will need to design several different layouts via wireframes with your graphic designer. You will need a minimum of two layouts, smartphone & full site.

We love the idea of responsive web design. What are your thoughts on responsive web design?