Is Your Web Design Future Proof?

Wednesday, 10 July 2019  |  Posted in: Articles  |  4min read

Building a website for your business is a big commitment of time and resources. Without a doubt, you want to get the fundamentals right first time. With an average lifespan of 2-5 years, you’re not just building your website for right now. You also have to consider how effectively it will serve your business years into the future. This is where having a responsive web design framework can come in to future proof your digital asset and provide peace of mind.

 

What does responsive web design mean?

Responsive web design is a relatively recent concept which has become essential for businesses on the web. It was developed in response to the many different devices and screen sizes that people use. This approach to web design automatically scales and renders pages and other elements to fit your device’s screen.

A brief history of responsive web design

Years ago, people would only browse the web from a desktop. This meant that websites only had to cater for monitors, which were either 800 or 1024 pixels. This approach is called fixed-width design. Since the explosion of device types available on the market, now websites have to work and render on everything from desktops, TV screens, smartphones and tablets.

When smartphones gained global popularity in 2012, at first websites didn’t render so well on them. Because websites were not optimised for mobile, users had trouble navigating and they had to resize websites by zooming. On top of this, loading times were much slower. This resulted in a poor user experience and high abandonment rates.

Initially, adaptive web design looked like a promising solution. This approach to web design involved having predetermined pixel widths for different versions of the website. This meant that popular devices each had their own version of the website.

The problem with the adaptive approach was the amount of devices that became available! Each new device with a different screen size required a new version of the website. Accordingly, designers, developers, and their clients all struggled to keep up.

Responsive web design emerged to solve this problem. Now, only one version of a website is needed that can automatically adapt to any screen size.

How important is responsive web design to search engines?

Very important, according to Google.

Google’s algorithm now checks to make sure that a website can be viewed on mobile before it shows it to smartphone users. With over 60% of searches now coming from mobile, this is definitely something you should pay attention to.

Now that so many people are searching online from devices like smartphones and tablets, it’s essential to optimise for mobile users to ensure search visibility. Otherwise, you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers who are searching for what your business provides.

Mobile optimisation is also particularly important for building trust in ecommerce. Businesses in this industry need to use their website to build trust with consumers quickly.

Responsive web design is one way to achieve this by meeting your consumers’ expectations. It increases the accessibility of your goods and services, and provides an excellent user experience that has them coming back for more.

Looking to the future of responsive web design

Market trends show that the number of devices we use to access information, goods and services online is continuing to rise. Recently, we’ve seen wearables (such as the Apple Smart Watch and Samsung Gear) become increasingly popular, as well as trends like VR and home assistants. All the signs point to us using many more diverse types of internet enabled devices in the future.

 

What does the future hold for your website?

Website platforms and technologies will continue to evolve. They do this to keep up with changes in consumer and business trends, internet speeds, technological advancements and corporate governance. Websites will continue to get smarter and become more accessible. They will become more integrated with other systems and data sources, and personalised to meet the changing needs of online consumers. As more devices become available, it will become increasingly important to have a website with a responsive web design framework to help your business cater for them.

 

So, can you future proof your website?

There no way to 100% future proof your new website, or any other internet based platform. However, using responsive web design frameworks and web development best practices will help to enable your business to adapt to the changing internet landscape. Most importantly, you will continue to give your online users and customer a great experience, no matter which device they use.

If you would like to speak with a Digital Expert for advice in future proofing your website, contact us to get started.

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