The effect of responsive web design
Posted 02 July 2012
Google has recently stated that it is recommending that web design take into consideration responsive design when deciding on formats for mobile devices. One of the reasons for this is that if websites have lots of different formats for different devices, which site would be the one with the incoming link and would the ranking automatically pass to the site for mobile users?
Given that mobile internet usage is on the increase and is widely expected to outstrip desktop internet access in the next couple of years, this is a very important issue. If web design professionals just create one site that will adapt, Google will be able to avoid the need to assess different versions of the same site and just continue to look at the one version of each site.
This is also of benefit to the web designers. Those who choose to move to responsive web design will begin to consider the needs of mobile users first. From the point of view of a small business this could be much more cost effective than trying to create different sites for different viewing media.
From a technical point of view there are a number of factors to consider. These include the fluid grid system, media queries using custom CSS and responsive images that will not have a set size, so they will automatically be reduced in size according to the viewing device.
Those who are interested in responsive websites can look at design tools such as Twitter Bootstrap that can help to develop landing pages. Another is Themeforest, which is ideal for those who have already used WordPress, and has plenty of templates for developing a responsive site.