Responsive Web Design: Pros and Cons

With the advancement in technology, we are getting accustomed to a wide variety of devices ranging from PC to Smartphone, tablets to access the web. In this busy era more and more people are taking interest in modern gadgets. This has led to an increase in mobile traffic. Online marketers are now exploring the best way through which they can offer mobile friendly web experiences to the visitors. Responsive web design is an impressive approach to this modern problem. The term “Responsive web design” implies that your website will accordingly adjust itself as per your screen size on which it is being displayed. Responsive web design makes use of Cascading Style Sheet Media Queries to identify and respond to the browsing environment through which a website is being accessed.

Responsive web design allows a single CMS to work across various platforms i.e. desktop screen, Tablet PC, Smartphone and other mobile devices. When a responsive website is viewed across a Desktop screen, navigation bar becomes horizontally arranged according to the screen size but if one uses a mobile device to access the site, navigation changes to vertical arrangement.

Pros of Responsive Web Design 

  • No need to have multiple versions for different mobile devices. It works on a single code base.
  • Visitors have full access to entire content available on the website. It offers liberty from content duplication issues as URLs are same for desktop screens as well as mobile devices.
  • Beneficial in terms of SEO as searches will be on same keywords and same URLs will appear on different devices. Easy to maintain analytics records due to this consistency.
  • Less expensive maintenance costs. Easy to update as any update will need to be applied once and takes less amount of time in adjusting style for different browsing environments.
  • Better user experience as user need not scroll every time to get a better view of the site. It will coerce visitors to visit your site frequently and refer your site to other users too.

Cons of Responsive Web Design

  • Slower loading time as mobile users need to download unnecessary HTML/CSS code. Images are not resized instead these are generally scaled down to fit into desired screen width. This leads to a slow loading time.
  • Responsive web design process is time consuming. The entire process of designing a responsive web design is quite complex and involves a lot of time.
  • Cons in Responsive web design come with customization. If someone wants to incorporate an app like feel for mobile devices, it will really be a daunting task to incorporate same feel on large desktop screen. Lot of customization is required to achieve it.
  • It is still a very new kid on the block and is not widely adopted, so there is a lack of best practices to be followed.
  • One need to make sacrifice to designing objectives to make site appear good on mobile devices as there is very compact space for your creativity.

Responsive web design is relatively a new way of web designing and is generally regarded as the future of web design industry. It is really a very powerful strategy in certain situations but it can be termed as an ultimate solution for all the situations. Organizations should be careful in choosing between a responsive web design or a separate mobile site as every organization has its own set of requirements and objectives. It is always advisable to consult an experienced professional before embarking any specific course of action.

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