The Importance of Responsive Web Design for SMB Sites

smartphone-map-shoppingAccording to StatTracker, U.S. mobile internet usage has increased by 73% in the last year. As this trend continues, it’s clear that the mobile web is becoming a more and more important avenue for marketers of all kinds.

In the multi-screen world we now live in, it’s critical for businesses to have a beautiful site that doesn’t just scale down to low resolutions, but also looks great on all devices — from a 27” desktop display to a “smart” refrigerator, and every tablet, phablet, and phone in between. While there are a number of acceptable strategies for mobile-friendly web design, I believe that for the majority of local businesses responsive design is the best mobile strategy.

Before we dive into the benefits, lets define responsive web design (RWD). Recently, the term “responsive” has become almost a catch-all term when describing mobile-friendly websites, but there are some distinct differences between a truly responsive website versus, for example, a dynamically served site or mobile specific site that can appear to be “responsive” by the untrained eye.

RWD at its heart is a site that’s built on one domain, that uses one single HTML codebase which is fluidly resized by the CSS to optimally adjust to the screen size of the device that viewing the site. Compared to a dynamically served site (which can refer to both adaptive web design or RESS-responsive design with server side components), the key difference is the amount of HTML whereas those sites have multiple HTML code bases that a server chooses between to present depending on the size of the device that is detected.

Now that we’ve gotten the nerdy definition out of the way, why responsive? First and foremost, SEO; responsive web design is recommended by Google. While it is true that Google has stated that dynamic serving and mobile-specific sites are acceptable when done correctly, it is easy to understand why responsive is their first choice — its web-crawling bots can be more efficient when indexing only one set of HTML code rather than indexing multiple versions of the same site.

Outside of Google’s preferences, RWD offers a number of additional benefits that increase the user experience and aid the business:

— Flexible rendering: responsive design allows for fluid and optimal viewing experience across all device and browser sizes and orientations. No pinching, zooming, and panning required.
— Easy maintenance: One codeset of HTML means cost and time efficiencies when maintaining and making changes to the site.
— Consistent and streamline user experience: Users can access your site across devices and expect a similar feel, navigation, and experience regardless.
— Easy sharing and linking: One URL makes it easy to link to and share your site and ensures a device optimized experience when those links are then opened.

There are pros and cons to each mobile strategy and every company should consider their unique business challenges (including budget and IT resources among other things), while keeping in mind the best user experience specific to their customers.

As our devices and technology continue to evolve (and we see the increasing influence of wearables, the “Internet of things” and more) I am sure that web design will continue to adapt — along with Google’s ever changing preferences. And while RWD isn’t a silver bullet for mobile strategy, it is certainly a great option for both consumers and businesses.

MattM-Headshot1Matt Matergia leads North American business development efforts for mono solutions, a SaaS-based platform built for resellers to design, deliver and manage professional, responsive websites and e-commerce sites for small and medium sized businesses. Matt can be reached on Twitter and Instagram: @mterg.

  1. SorinJackson
    January 28, 2015


    I am also working in ideavate solution who provides world best web design services. I would like to say thanks for introducing a benefits of responsive web design.

  2. Alessandro Morris
    March 19, 2015

    Consistency is the key to establishing brand identity and to turning your company’s purpose and mission into a visual story. Having a responsive site can be almost as important as the content on it. You want to get your business’ message across the moment the page shows up on their mobile. That’s why hiring a reputable website designer ( is so important.

  3. March 27, 2015

    Yes, Google actually encourages the use of responsive web design, but in truth, responsive web design streamlines a site’s backend and helps maintain a single domain doing away with unnecessary templates and sub-domains, and also eliminating a need for multiple SEO campaigns.

  4. April 22, 2015

    Additional to the above article here are the benefits of RWD (responsive web design):

    * Lesser long-term costs
    * Integration with mobile devices
    * Optimum viewing experience for users
    * Compatibility with a wide range of devices

  5. May 22, 2015

    Responsive Web Design for Small Business Websites is even more critical in … a study or a survey to understand the importance of Responsive Web Design.

  6. Sean Gibson
    January 12, 2017

    What a great explanation about responsive web design i really understand you a to z article and i hope no one have a query about this explanation.

  7. Muhammad Junaid
    February 13, 2017

    Responsive Website is so important in corporate world as corporate presentations is important to promote your business. Not only for businesses , responsive websites are also important to rank any website. According to google updates if your website is not responsive , your website will be blacklisted and considered as a SPAM.

  8. February 20, 2018

    These days 70% users are from mobile devices, So it is necessary to have a responsive web design to get more and more visitors.

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