If you own your own website, you know that every single click is valuable. Each visitor brings a profit, so losing out on potential visitors can be devastating. One surefire way to lose out on visitors is to have a site that doesn’t work on mobile devices. Studies show that 20% of web traffic in the United States is made up of people using mobile devices. If your site is not visible to that entire 20%, you are missing out on one fifth of your potential hits.

The dilemma of designing a website for multiple platforms and screens is nothing new. Programmers have been dealing with it even since the Internet became popular. Even when desktop computers were the only option, differences in screen sizes and resolution posed a problem. Now, there are many different options for web browsing platforms. Developers need to take tablets, smartphones and laptops into account, not to mention the varying sizes of each.

Some companies flat out ask their web developers to design a separate site for the iPhone or the iPad. While this will certainly give you an awesome site on either, there are drawbacks to such a request. For one thing, it will only last as long as the current operating system of the iPhone lasts, which is probably not long. It is also more costly than developing a single site. Instead of asking for device-specific websites, consider asking your developer for a responsive web design.

Responsive web design is a way to design sites so that the site actively adapts to the device by which it is accessed. In other words, a web design that is responsive looks perfect on a laptop, but is also just as accessible from an iPhone or an iPad as the same site, but with a different response. There are a few ways that responsive web design is superior to creating multiple versions of the same site.

You’ll Save Money by Paying for a Single Responsive Web Design

Assuming that you are not an experienced web developer, you probably need to hire a developer to create your physical site. While you can certainly find a high school student who knows how to use WordPress to do your site, you’d be better off paying a premium for a professional. Though costly, the investment will guarantee a beautiful and functional site. If the developer cannot create a responsive web design that will function across multiple devices, you’ll need to pay for each site version. Your website as it will appear on laptops will cost a certain amount, then your iPhone website will cost another amount, and then you’ll probably be out of money in your budget by the time you even think about the iPad site. A responsive web design can save you money in the short term by requiring a single design from your developer.

You Can Set it and Forget It

When will the next iPhone come out? How big will the screen be? When will Droids become more popular than iPhones? All of these questions are impossible to answer without a clairvoyant (or an employee at the genius bar). For that reason, responsive web design is easier because once your site is developed, you won’t have to worry about the next big thing. As long as your site looks modern and can be adjusted with new information when necessary, you won’t need to think about it for a few years after it’s launched. Technology changes rapidly, and putting effort into keeping up with it will take up a lot of your time. However, if your developer created a site that will look amazing on the new iPhone 5, you’ll need to worry when the iPhone 6 comes out. Responsive web design will
save you the trouble.

You’ll Increase Traffic and Sales

By designing a responsive website right off the bat, you’ll increase the amount of traffic your site gets, and therefore the amount of sales. Of coursing, creating device-specific sites will do the same, but this way there is less down time between the launch of your official site and the launch of your device-specific site. People might like your site and try to pay a visit on their phone only to find that the mobile site is under construction. If they already like your responsive web site and then visit on their phone, it will be the same site they know and love. In fact, it will be easier for them to make purchases and interact with it because they know where everything is on the page.

Though it’s difficult for non-developers to understand, web developers can create responsive web designs just as easily as they can create entirely new websites for specific devices. They first need to make sure the website they’re making as your universal page has a fluid grid. This means that images and text will move to fit any size screen. They’ll also use media queries so that the page is actually aware of the device it’s appearing on. That way, it can move to fit that device.

Making a responsive web design is certainly more complicated than creating a static one. However, it is not that much more difficult than creating multiple websites for different devices and it will probably take less time. By having your web developer create a responsive web design for your site, you are saving money on the multiple designs you’d need otherwise. You’re also saving time by being able to stick with one site for many years to come.

Most importantly, you are guaranteeing more traffic and therefore more sales by having your developer create a responsive web design. Your site will be accessible and functional from every device, so you’ll be gaining visitors from the 20% of people using mobile devices. Additionally, there will be no down time as separate sites are created. To make sure your website is on the cusp of change on the Internet, make sure your site has a responsive web design.