When was the last time you browsed the internet on your mobile phone or a tablet device? This morning when you double-checked your train time? A few minutes ago when you updated your Facebook status? Right now as you read this very article? These days, it is becoming increasingly important for web designs to be made responsive, as this will allow users on all sorts of devices to view the website without any problems. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of making such a decision for your own site?
Fortunately, there are a number of advantages presented to website owners who choose to take the responsive web design route, and these include:
Low maintenance – You will only have to maintain a single website instead of maintaining one for desktop computers, one for tablet devices and one for mobile phones.
Brand consistency – A major part of marketing any business is brand consistency; by making use of a responsive design, you will ensure that your brand is presented similarly across all sorts of devices.
Usability – The great thing about responsive design is that it is extremely user friendly; not only will users recognize your brand when switching devices; they will also already know how to use the website.
Load time – Users viewing your responsive website with a good wifi or cable connection will be able to download seemingly large chunks of data without any problems.
As with anything, however, there are a number of disadvantages associated with the implementation of a responsive web design, including:
Development time – Unfortunately, the construction of a responsive website takes for longer than the creation of a standard site for use on a desktop computer.
Different devices – The people browsing the internet on each of these devices will have very different needs; those on mobile web designs want immediate information, for example.
Limited support – A responsive website operates according to media queries that tell it what screen size it is currently being viewed on; older browsers don’t have these media queries.
Navigation menus – The smaller the device, the less screen space you have to work with. This can make complex navigation difficult to set out in an intuitive and comprehensive manner.
You should not, however, let the above list of advantages and disadvantages put you off utilising a responsive web design for your own website endeavours; every day, new advancements are being made that are lessening the effects of these disadvantages. Eventually, it is hoped that the disadvantages associated with responsive design will be at such a minimum that it is barely worth even mentioning them.