For those that like to cut the chase, the answer to the question is… yes, your small business does need responsive web design. In fact, we find it difficult to come up with a reason not to use this approach. And for those of you who like a bit more detail, here’s why we think so…
What is Responsive WordPress Design?
Before we get into the details of how responsive web design (RWD) can help your business, let’s first review what it is. Basically, responsively built websites adapt to their environment. They can automatically scale-down or rearrange based on the screen size of the viewing device, so whether someone is accessing a site on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, it will render appropriately.
Like us, we use responsive wordpress design because not only do we love RWD, but we also can’t get enough wordpress. There are many reasons why we prefer wordpress built sites, including they are user-friendly, easy to manage, and SEO-friendly. However, the benefits of wordpress is a topic for another discussion, which, incidentally, you can read about in one of our earlier posts.
Why Your Small Business Needs Responsive WordPress Design?
1. Satisfy Your Mobile Audience
Arguably, the most important reason to use responsive wordpress design is it helps you stay connected to mobile internet users. Today, people can access your site using all types of gadgets, and if you’re not taking steps to ensure your site displays properly for all devices, chances are, for many of your visitors, your site is a big FAIL. Having a poor performing mobile website is terrible for business, because it frustrates potential customers and may send people clicking away and never to return.
The only problem is, without RWD, it’s nearly impossible to accommodate every available device — there are just too many and they’re changing all the time. On the other hand, responsive sites are adaptable and future-friendly, which means your website won’t require a major overhaul as things advance.
2. Mobile Audience May Soon Surpass Desktop Users
If you’re thinking mobile users are only a small niche and having a site which caters specifically to them isn’t necessary — think again. Lately, there’s been a lot of chatter on the net about how in the next couple of years mobile internet users will surpass desktop users. According to a recent report, that day has already come in China and, chances are, the US isn’t too far behind.* So, by ignoring mobility, you are already dismissing a large portion of your audience and, pretty soon, you’ll be disregarding the needs of the majority of your audience (not smart).
3. Handy for Desktops Too
Having a quality mobile website isn’t the only reason to use responsive wordpress design; it’s also useful for those accessing your site on regular desktops. Monitor screens come in all sizes and multi-taskers are regularly resizing their windows and “snapping” two or more together to view multiple things at once. With RWD, your website displays in the best manner possible (no matter how the viewer resizes the screen), and it can re-align text and graphics to minimize side-to-side scrolling.
4. Convert More by Keeping Visitors Engaged and on Your Page
Although your guests may never realize you’re using RWD, they will certainly appreciate the great user-experience you provide. A visit free of horizontal scrolling, slow load times, tiny text, and other annoyances is sure to keep people on your page longer and possibly coming back for more.
Additionally, by using responsive wordpress design, you can provide more relevant content to both mobile and static users. For instance, those using desktops are generally working at a slower pace and looking for more information — RWD gives them that. Likewise, mobile users are typically on-the-move and want to quickly find what they’re looking for — RWD abbreviates and makes things simple, so people can find the most vital content with just a glance.
Never forget that keeping folks interested and on your page for longer is one of the biggest ways to boost conversions.
5. More Affordable
Generally responsive wordpress design costs less than having separate mobile and static websites, because no matter how you slice it, maintaining multiple web properties is going to require more time and effort (think money) than having just one. Some designers prefer to use a hybrid approach where the mobile site pulls information from the main website (so it doesn’t require quite as much individual updating), but even that technique is not as simple as having one, intuitive website.
6. Stay Ahead of the Competition
RWD is still catching on, which means if you take advantage of the technology now, you can get ahead of your competition and start earning the loyalty of consumers. Customers are more willing to buy from businesses that look like they know what they’re doing and are “with the times.” If you’re still using out-dated online strategies people may assume your company is out of touch in all areas and choose to do business with one of your competitors instead.
Plus, if you want to stay relevant, you have to connect with people in their medium of choice, and more and more they are choosing to engage mobily.
Some may argue having separate sites is necessary because users interact differently with mobile pages and deserve an optimized experience. And while we agree people do engage differently with mobile and static devices, it’s important to recognize that RWD does provide visitors with a more mobile-friendly experience as the content is scaled down, re-sized, abridged, etc.
However, even if a business does want to create a separate mobile website for the purpose of integrating smartphone/tablet functionalities, that’s still no reason to dismiss RWD altogether, because, after all, it’s useful for more purposes than just mobility. Thus, we say responsive wordpress design is a good idea for every small business interested in converting more, spending less, and staying ahead of the competition.
Ben Heath worked in the civil engineering field as a road and bridge construction inspector. He oversaw the work being done and was responsible for its adherence to contract documents. He is now the Search Marketing Director at Spark Logix Studios which is an Inbound marketing agency which focus on WordPress Web Design & Search Engine Optimization.