History of Responsive Web Design
The term Responsive Web Design was first coined by Ethan Marcotte in his “Responsive Web Design” article in A List Apart in May 2010. However, a site layout example that adapts to browser viewport width was first demonstrated by Cameron Adams back in 2004. Mashable called 2013 the Year of Responsive Web Design.
Advantages of Responsive Web Design
Lower web maintenance cost — maintaining separate websites for mobile and desktop would incur more cost than one responsive website that would fit all devices and screen sizes. This is not just development costs but marketing costs, SEO costs etc.
Better business conversion rate — A responsive website has better navigation, readability and page loading speed. Mobile online shopping has outpaced desktop online shopping.
Better reach across social platforms — Contents are more shareable and attractive. Contents compatible with mobile displays are preferred for sharing.
Competitive advantage — A responsive website makes you better positioned competitively as you are on par with the top companies in your niche. Most users have a far better opinion of brands offering a great mobile browsing experience. Users go to a competitor’s website if they find your website not optimized for mobile devices.
More effective for SEO — Google announced in April 2015 that mobile friendliness is now a ranking factor for mobile searches. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are losing potential traffic to your website.
Mobile is the future — more than 50% of all current search traffic is from mobile. 66% of all emails are opened on mobile devices.
Ready for new devices —A responsive website is ready to take on any of the hundreds of existing devices capable of viewing the website. As new devices and screen sizes are developed continually, a responsive website has been proven fool proof against these changes but also upcoming devices like smart watches, wearables like Google Glass, smart TVs etc.
Our website was completely re-coded recently to incorporate responsive web design. Previously, we had used a script to detect the browser using the user agent (not such a good idea on hindsight) and if a mobile device was detected, served out a simplified version of the website designed to fit on a smaller screen. This created a few problems for us — we were in effect, maintaining two websites and making changes to one means you had to ensure the other version is updated as well; the simplified mobile version didn’t have all of the desktop content and to simplify things, the mobile version had zero capabilities (no file upload, RFQs, subscription form etc); we were also missing out on the ranking “boost” to Google mobile searches.
Our new website was built from the ground up with all new code using the Bootstrap framework which touts the “mobile-first” mantra. We decided against a website re-design as we are happy with the current design and also didn’t want our customers to be confused with any potentially new navigation. We also created a WordPress theme to ensure that the blog section ties in seamlessly to the website.
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Samco Printers is a full service commercial printer providing exceptional offset, digital and large format printing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada using the latest pre-press, printing and finishing technologies. We also have a fully equipped art department to handle your graphic and web design needs.
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