When Google speaks most brands listen. Most of the advice it doles out is about web design, development and its impact on optimization. In a recent post, Google has finally picked a side and it stands firmly with responsive design.
We’ve discussed responsive design a few times on our blog and agree with Google’s sentiments on the design trend. For brands, both big and small, the use of responsive design allows users to obtain the optimum experience when browsing a site, regardless of the device they are using.
With the majority of Americans and international internet users searching and purchasing on various mobile devices, a website that can fit any medium is essential. This may be one of the reasons Google has expressed its love for responsive design.
According to Google, “Responsive Design serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can render the display differently (i.e., “respond”) based on the screen size. ”
Fair and Balanced
To be fair, Google did reiterate that no favoritism is shown to sites that use responsive design over those that use dynamic serving or separate URLs. Google simply stated that it recommends the use of responsive design. But anyone who knows Google knows that that statement is oozing with warm and fuzzy feelings from the search engine giant.
Here is the rundown on the other website options, so that you can make an informed decision on which is better for you and to hopefully understand why Google loves responsive design:
Dynamic Serving: Uses the same URL regardless of the device, but generates a different version of HTML for different device types based on what the server knows about the user’s browser. The load times with this option are fast, but you have to optimize each page, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Separate URLs: Serves different code to each device, and on separate URLs. This configuration tries to detect the users’ device, then redirects to the appropriate page using HTTP redirects] along with the Vary HTTP header. This works (ideally) to pinpoint a device and serve up the content to fit it.
Before you become panicky, even if you are using a separate URL (most commonly known as a mobile site) or dynamic serving, as long as users are receiving the best possible experience you should be just fine.
Google’s Love Affair
In short, Google loves responsive design not because it is a new and interesting trend, but because it is ideal for user experience and makes a website more dynamic. If easy maintenance, peace of mind and a streamlined website is your goal, then responsive design may be the right choice for you. Google has made its choice, what is yours?