A “responsive” website is one that presents users a good, readable, usable version of their web pages on all devices from desktop, to laptop, to tablet, to iPad, to smartphones and other mobile devices.
Responsive pages do not look the same on both large and small screens, instead they reformat to best support the size and type of device being used.
To make your website work in every popular screen size and resolution is a significant challenge. Content that views well on a large TV screen can’t simply be shrunk to a small smartphone size and still be readable.
On one side of the spectrum are huge HD resolutions in "landscape" on desktops/TVs and on the other end are the small screens of smartphones in "portrait". Tablets sit some where in the middle, but many users will alternate between "landscape" and "portrait" depending on the content or personal preference.
Users are already viewing your site on a smartphone!
Instead of a Responsive website, another option is to create a version of the site for each type of smart phone (Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.) as an “App” – a specific version, coded for the specific device. An App can be the optimal experience, but companies have to support four (or more) complete development efforts – which is prohibitively expensive in most cases.
When does an App make sense? When the content must be available even if the user is not actively on the Internet. Games, phone utilities, and other specific uses.
The below video is a brief primer on Responsive Web Design, why you should care about it, and how to best develop sites in this style.
Do you have more questions about how Responsive Web Design can impact your website's goals? Contact Us and our representatives will be happy to provide you with more information