Before we get into the pros and cons of responsive websites, we thought it was important to first explain what they actually are. Basically, this is the name given to a website that automatically resizes itself based on the screen resolution it is being viewed on. There may be 3 columns on a desktop, which condenses down to 2 on a tablet and then down to 1 on a smartphone.
Advantages of Responsive Websites
- You can eliminate clutter on smaller devices (such as smartphones), as you only have room to display the most important information.
- There are higher chances of your website leading to more conversions, as all sorts of customers can access your product or service.
- You can cater to the significantly large (and continuously growing) audience who are browsing on mobile devices more regularly.
- Visitors to your website will receive the same quality browsing experience across different browsers and devices.
- As it is still a single website entity, you can use the same SEO strategy and won’t need separate ones for each screen resolution.
- You won’t have to manage multiple websites, which can greatly reduce your time and maintenance costs.
Link can easily be shared via social media across devices (previously, a link shared via desktop could not be opened on a mobile device).
- As the website automatically resizes itself, you don’t have to worry about designing a whole new site every time a new device is introduced.
Disadvantages of Responsive Websites
- If the design has not been done properly, it may not look great in smaller devices (navigation is especially difficult to set out).
- Loading time for mobile devices is usually higher, as HTML and CSS code that isn’t being used must still be downloaded.
- As it is still a relatively new concept, only limited resources are available and it may take a while to find solutions to problems.
Even though there are certainly advantages and disadvantages associated with responsive websites, it is important to consider the needs of your users when determining whether responsive is the way to go or not. As a side point, it is also worth noting that Google now penalizes websites for not being mobile-friendly, which could have a significant impact on your rankings.