Responsive Design: Pros and Cons for Search Marketing
With the increasing number of mobile users accessing the internet these days, it is of extreme importance to address them properly on your website. Marketing is all about getting as much audience as you can, so you have to optimize your website in such a way that it works smoothly on any other device than a desktop, such as smartphones, tablets, phablets, etc.
There are actually three different methods through which you can optimize your website for mobile users: responsive web design, responsive web design with server side components and a separate mobile version of site. Responsive web design is all the rage right now, that’s why we will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages that it offers.
- Single URL
A responsive website has the same URL, even if you are viewing it from any other device. This is a really great benefit of having a responsive design because it allows easier sharing of the site and is also good for social media strategies. For example, if a user viewing a responsive website from a mobile device shares a link of that website on twitter, then other users that will view the website from other devices will be served with a page that is optimized for their device. If there is a separate mobile site, then it will have a different link, which will make things look untidy when another person views that link from a desktop.
The reason behind a responsive site’s single URL (for any device) is the scalability. A responsive design adapts to the screen size of the device that you are using and the page gets optimized accordingly in order to provide a great user experience. This means that you don’t have to worry about any device (even from the future) having a bad user experience on a responsive site and it is the main reason why responsive design has become the most popular and widely adopted method for dealing with users from different devices.
- Easily Managed
With a responsive site, you won’t have to worry about making changes to your website. If you have a mobile specific version of your website, then you will have to make changes to at least two different websites. So, a responsive design saves you from the hassle of updating different versions of your website and allows you to focus well on a single website that is optimized for all devices.
- Search Engine Optimized
Another great benefit that a responsive website offers is that you don’t have to worry about the search engine optimization of your website. Since the website has a single URL, it will be optimized for search engines the same way for each device. If there are different versions of a website for different devices, then the search engine optimization will be different in each case.
A responsive design can be costly because you need to redesign your existing site. So, you will have to work from scratch again and create a universal design that looks great on each type of devices the users use to access your website. You will also need to do a lot of upfront work and test how the website looks on different devices. If you opt for having different versions of your website, then you will only need to create a website for other devices than desktops.
- Less Control
You actually get less control over your website if it’s responsive. It will be a lot harder or even impossible to change the viewing experience of a device having a particular screen size. But if you have a specific mobile version of your website, then you are in complete control and can make changes without having to worry about the desktop version.
- Slower Loading
If the responsive design is not made carefully, then the website might load very slowly on mobile devices which people don’t like. There can be many reasons for slower loading of the website but the most common is images of larger size. If there is a separate mobile site, then this can be avoided because everything is different from the desktop version.
While responsive design is the most popular solution for dealing with users from different devices, it is not at all the first choice in every situation.You will have to consider if the mobile site needs to be different than its desktop counterpart. You should also take into account the advantages and disadvantages of the responsive design and then figure out what’s best according to your requirements.
Nicole Stansley is a digital marketing strategist for Write My Essay, an educational project. She enjoys writing about personal development, productivity, tech stuff and loves learning new things.