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Why Responsive Design Might Not Work For You← back
Responsive sites have a number of advantages for users and for website owners. Visitors can access the site from smartphones or tablets, and website owners have a “future friendly” site that not only increases conversions, but anticipates what’s next and can build long-term value. The site responds to the dimension ns and, in turn, changes the size and scale of content and images as the device dimensions change.
However, not every organization needs a responsive site. Here are a few reasons why building your site to be responsive or changing your current site into a responsive one might not work for you.
Consider the Site’s Purpose
What is the purpose of your site? Are you generating content for others to read on a regular basis? Is your business a retail business and your site allows access to an e-commerce portal for orders? These types of sites might benefit from a responsive design because people can read or buy on the go.
While it might be tempting to get a responsive site, not every organization needs one. For example, a wealth management company might not benefit from a responsive site in the same way a media website would, but a wealth management company might consider a mobile version of their desktop site that allows for customers to learn about the company’s mission and how to contact them from their phone.
When talking to an agency about responsive site design, you might want to look at what’s driving your traffic. A great example came from our Twitter follower Jared Reed of Pan Galactic Digital (@SearchWookie), who shared his insight on site goals.
Understanding the best practices and the purpose you want to achieve with your site can give you better clarity about your site now and into the future. Look at your current visits and make concrete, realistic goals to better determine if responsive is a good design route to go.
Consider Your Audience
Speaking of visits – just who is accessing your site? Where are they coming from? Are they the audience you intended to reach? If you have not looked at your traffic, it might provide a good indicator of the makeup of your audience. For example, according to data from Pew Internet, a project of the Pew Research Center, 26% of American adults own an e-reader and 31% of American adults own a tablet computer, but only 12% of adults age 65 and over have a smartphone.
If you have found that mobile drives a portion of your traffic, a responsive site might be a viable option. Some audiences, based on factors like age and gender, might be more likely to use a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, to log into sites rather than accessing only through desktop. If you have consistent mobile visits, offering a responsive design option gives your audience the access they want without sacrificing traffic.
Finally, it is important to consider accessibility when deciding if a responsive website is right for you. This means not only making sure your site is accessible to people with disabilities, but that the site has a manageable design. Responsive sites with manageable design typically load faster, which lowers your bounce rate and keeps people interested in your content.
Depending on the design, a responsive site might mean creating a layout with larger buttons, fewer images and text to offset the removed images. Factors like accessing the site on a variety of devices might mean a higher cost, and if your budget is smaller, it might be hard to justify investing in a responsive site.
Responsive website design is not a silver bullet and will not solve all the issues you face. Coding for responsive design can cost more, but you also get better optimization for search traffic. Maintenance on responsive sites is also different than a desktop site, a mobile site or updating an app.
If you decide not to make your site responsive, don’t worry! You can still create a sleek, professional website that reaches your intended audience. Many agencies, like ours, have experience with other sites and can give you a variety of options and solutions for your digital space.
CTA: Looking for web solutions outside of responsive design? Contact Imagery today!