Do I Need a Responsive Website and Why is the Answer “Yes”?

09.03.20

Responsive websites are designed to fit the screen of whichever device is viewing the site. This means the website looks good on a computer, a tablet, and on mobile. You don’t have to constantly zoom in and out, words and pictures aren’t cut off at the edge of the screen, etc. Not only that, but the website also looks good on your phone with a normal text size as well as your mom’s phone with words as big as your arm. I mean seriously, could those words be any bigger? You’re not that old, mom.

There are examples of the Rokusek site (this site) with responsive and without responsive. If you’re viewing this on a computer, the examples are probably to the right of this text. If you’re viewing this on a phone, the examples are probably at the bottom of the page. Notice how on the mobile version without responsive, the text is all cut off and images don’t fit.

If you’re not interested in statistics, here is the cliff notes version: it’s 2020 and your website needs to be responsive.

Anyway, on to the statistics.

Are responsive sites that important?

Let’s look at some statistics from StatCounter Global Stats, arguably the industry standard for internet-related metrics.

In August 2020, mobile devices accounted for 51.33% of web traffic. Desktops (computers) accounted for 45.89%, and tablets came in at 2.78%. There is a strong chance that over half of the visitors to your website last month came from a phone.

For reference, in August 2015 mobile was 39.18%, desktop was 55.22% and tablet was 5.6%.

Here’s a graph. Click the graph for a fancier graph you can play around with.

Additionally, search engines rank responsive websites higher than non-responsive websites. (Source 1, Source 2)

Here are some other stats:

  • Mobile users are 5x more likely to abandon a task if the website isn’t responsive (Source)
  • 94% of customers base their trust of a website on its design (Source)
  • 88% of people who conduct a local search on their phone visit within a week (Source)
  • 81% of customers search online before they make a purchase. (Source)
  • An estimated 72.6% of internet users will only use the internet via mobile by 2025 (Source)

Okay… what does all this mean?

Having a responsive website increases user experience and user engagement, which directly affects a person’s trust in your brand and their desire to work with you or buy your product.

If you don’t have a responsive website, 50% of your visitors will have a sub-optimal experience.

To rephrase: responsive sites are important unless you don’t care about every other person walking through your front door.

If we haven’t convinced you of the importance of responsive by now, we’ll leave you with this final note: every responsive website your mom visits is one less call you have to field when the “internet is broken.” What do you even mean, mom?!?! The entire internet? It’s broken?!

 

(For what it’s worth, we’ve been building responsive websites since the first iPhone came out in 2007, which is a year before the Chrome browser was released and almost four years before Internet Explorer added support for the technologies behind responsive websites.)

Rokusek Website on Desktop

This is what the Rokusek website looks like on a computer.

Rokusek Website on Mobile

This is what the Rokusek website looks like on mobile.

Rokusek Website on Mobile without Responsive

This is what the Rokusek website would look like on mobile if it weren’t responsive. Notice how it looks like the desktop site, but everything is cut off.