Pros and Cons of Responsive Website Development: An Interesting Insight

January 29, 2013 Mobile traffic to websites will catch up to desktop usage by 2015 in the U.S. and savvy companies are seeking new ways to deliver a mobile-friendly experience for their users. Responsive Web Development, as an alternative to developing a separate mobile website, enables your website to adapt to any screen and platform and do so accordingly for optimal viewing. Benefits are self-evident. You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens. Responsive Web Development is also an excellent online marketing tool: having only one URL benefits your SEO results and helps keep your image always consistent. Challenges, however, arise when you need extensive site customization, or if you have a lot of content to deliver. These cons are especially evident on smartphones.

Here's a couple of pros and cons to keep in mind if you're considering a shift to responsive:

  1. Better usability - With responsive websites adjusting to any device, user experience improves dramatically. Page loading is minimized, re-sizing and re-orienting is provided to avoid side-by-side scrolling, zooming and pinching.
  2. Good for SEO - Responsive design also means one URL; and it is recommended  by Google as a great tool for search engine optimization. Not bad.
  3. Easy to Update - Obviously one website to build and maintain is less expensive than two. And it's one database of content, which makes site management and updates much easier and less time consuming.
  4. Accessibility - The mobile world works on the idea that the information you need is just a finger tap away. Your customer must find what he or she is looking for and find it quickly. Tip: If you need to deliver complex functions, you should go for an app or a mobile website. Java, PHP and complex languages are still slow on responsive mode.
  5. Content availability - All pages are available on every device and you stay consistent and credible. Fluid and flexible grids and images are working together so that your website looks great anywhere.
  6. Design complexity - Responsive website development needs big HTML work, extra care on running scripts, images, and CSS, i.e.  investment on experienced programmers.

Do you want to see this in action?

See these inspiring examples implemented by The Boston Globe, Disney, Starbucks and Harvard University. Read more here:

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