responsive designAs mobile users become the norm in the U.S., you’ve increasingly heard about the importance of having a mobile website. You’ve even noticed that Google’s been rolling out mobile-first indexing, shifting the starting basis of search engine result rankings from desktop versions of websites to mobile versions. But before you roll up your sleeves and create a mobile site through your own means or a website builder, you may want to first know more about responsive design and how it could be the key to your website’s mobile optimization and success. To learn more, keep reading.

What is a responsive design?

There are different ways to implement your mobile site, but responsive design is the approach Google most highly recommends. Websites that have responsive design are set up to automatically resize to a user’s screen or the browser window used. For that reason, a website that exhibits responsive web design can be easily viewed through any device and screen, from your smartphone and its relatively smaller screen to your desktop and its bigger screen. In other words, responsive design allows for you to build one site that responds to different elements, enabling the website to be optimally displayed on any device.

The benefit of a responsive design

If your website has a more traditional, “fixed” design (i.e., a static layout) there could be some points that you need to consider, as your website is likely not automatically optimized for each device. While your site may look fine when you’re viewing it through your desktop, it may be unviewable on a smaller screen (e.g., the one on your smartphone) due to the fixed pixel width. A responsive web design is one solution that could enable you to circumvent this issue.

We should also note that there are at least two other techniques that could get your website to look good and function well on different devices. ClickSeed explains the pros and cons of these three main techniques (responsive design, dynamic serving and separate URLs).

Why is a responsive design so highly recommended?

While there are pros and cons to each configuration, we’ve focused on covering responsive web design in this post because it’s Google’s most recommended approach. In fact, according to the tech giant, responsive design allows Googlebot to crawl your website more efficiently, which could indirectly enable Google to add and include more of your website’s content into Google search, meaning it may result in an SEO boost.

Google also mentions other reasons why responsive design could be the better choice, including the following:

  • Responsive web design makes it easier for audiences to link to your content with one URL.
  • Comparatively speaking, websites that have responsive design don’t usually need as much engineering time for maintenance purposes.
  • Responsive design decreases the chances of making mistakes that commonly plague mobile sites.

How can you build a website with a responsive design?

If you want to create a website that has a responsive design, you can follow coding instructions to implement it. If you don’t know how to code and want to set up this type of website in a jiffy, however, you can turn to a website builder that offers templates exhibiting a responsive web design. Squarespace, for example, is one website building service that ensures your website has such a configuration. Weebly is another website builder that offers responsive design if you select one of its newer themes.

Do also note that there may be some website builders that don’t cater responsive design at all. As such, if you’re planning to use a website building service to create a website with a responsive design, you’ll want to make sure that the theme or template you choose is actually a responsive one.

Now that you know more about responsive web design, get some other tips and tricks to easily create a beautiful website. Get started by checking out our website builder reviews to find the right service for you and our website building blog to learn more tips and tricks.