The Importance of Responsive Websites in the 21st Century

While business owners with a website may be thinking a great deal about search engine optimization, they may not be considering one specific technique that makes the site more useful for potential customers. This is known as Responsive Design, and it means the site is fully functional no matter what electronic device the person is using. The website looks and functions like it should whether the user brings it up on a laptop computer, tablet or mobile phone.


Responsive websites automatically are resized and reformatted to fit the device the person is using. The site can have a front page that is long and scrollable for computer users but switch to a multi-page style for mobile phones. Research has found that short pages are easier to manage on cell phones, but that design can be annoying for computer users.


Before the advent of smartphone technology, this type of design wasn’t necessary. However, users rapidly embraced the ability to be on the Web no matter where they were using a device that was small and convenient. They want to quickly check menus of restaurants when trying to decide on a place with Mexican cuisine and they want to know whether any local pet supplies shop has a sale on dog food. And they like being able to do this while waiting in line at the bank drive-through or anywhere else they happen to be.


Web developers, like those with a company such as, write the code that allows websites to respond effectively. The site can’t simply be blank on half of the screen so it can be used on cell phones, as that looks silly when viewed on a wide horizontal screen. The page must recognize the device and automatically configure for it.


Businesses that don’t have a responsive site will be lost in the crowd when people have a question and are browsing the Web on a cell phone. More than half of people surveyed have said they would probably choose a different dining establishment, store or other company if they felt frustrated with the website on a mobile phone.