Meet the Authors:

Vivian Rashotte is a digital marketer at Three Point Turn. She's a writer and a visual artist who's interested in digital strategy, brand management and creating compelling web content.

Trishan Gunness is lead developer at Three Point Turn. He shares insight on enterprise development, system design and development culture. He lives in Oakville, Ontario.

Nafeu Nasir has a versatile set of skills in graphic design and software development. He's currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.

Anderson Hung recently graduated with a degree in mental health studies. He's a web development intern who's lending a hand with marketing projects at Three Point Turn.

The pros and cons of responsive web design

Posted on: November 7th, 2014 by


 

Pros Cons Responsive Web Design

In our last article on responsive web design we explained the different methods for making your website more mobile-friendly. But does your website need to be responsive?

When creating your website you need to consider its function, business goal, budget and user story. For example, responsive design works well for sites that require a consistent user experience across a range of resolutions, but not every website on the internet has this requirement. Let’s take a look at the upsides and downsides of responsive design to determine whether this philosophy is right for you.

Pros:

  • Responsive design helps a website appeal to mobile users who are increasingly likely to browse the internet using multiple devices.
  • Responsive design improves SEO. All your content lives on a single domain and is accessible across all devices.
  • Any content changes made to your website only have to be made in one place instead of multiple places.

Cons:

  • Responsive design can unintentionally kill the user experience and cause poor conversion. One study showed that the load times for 69 percent of responsive design mobile sites were deemed “unacceptable.” This was especially true in the case of image-heavy mobile sites.
  • If you’re upgrading to a responsive website, you’ll have to completely redevelop its front-end codebase. This can be an expensive undertaking in many content management system (CMS) platforms.
  • Certain layouts, such as tables with a lot of columns, are very difficult (and expensive) to make responsive.
  • It’s typically harder to place banner advertisements within a responsive design.

“One of the challenges with responsive web design is managing ad placement. Traditionally, ad managers would purchase an ad on your site in a specific size and in a specific location. Now, if your site sells ad space on a responsive, dynamic layout, you’ll need to completely overhaul your ad display system.”

(Michael Nichols, Software Developer at Three Point Turn)

Things to consider when deciding on responsive web design

It all comes down to ROI. Do you have a complex website that would be exceptionally costly to change? Do your target customers actively use mobile devices to look at websites? Check out your website’s analytics—are a significant portion of your site’s visitors coming from a mobile device? If so, it might be worthwhile to upgrade or invest in a responsive site.

If you still don’t know if a responsive website is right for you, we recommend talking to your developers—they can help you determine if it’s the right fit for your business needs.

 

 

Vivian Rashotte is a digital marketer at Three Point Turn. She's a writer and a visual artist who's interested in digital strategy, brand management and creating compelling web content.


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