The term ‘Responsive Web Design‘ has become extremely popular in recent times in the web design world. Some think of it as this ‘almost magical’ web designing concept that is sure to get more traffic to a site and increase conversion. While there is no doubt RWD has the potential to bring extraordinary returns for a business’s web presence, there are some misconceptions regarding RWD that stop business owners from taking the responsive route for their website.

Here is a list of things that you might have heard about RWD that are untrue

Responsive Web Design Misconceptions

1. Responsive Design Takes More Time to Build

Since responsive design provides optimal viewing experience on all devices – be it a 4 inch smartphone or 21 inch desktop, the common myth amongst business owners is that RWD takes too long to code and test. They believe there is a different code for each device and each code needs to be tested.

However, the truth is slightly different. Yes, RWD does take longer than conventional design, but it saves time by creating a common codebase for different screen sizes unlike having separate sites for different devices.

2. Implementing Responsive Design Will Boost Sales

This is the biggest RWD myth of all. RWD is the recommended mobile configuration by Google. So, implementing RWD will increase your website’s chances of ranking higher on Google, thereby helping you get qualified traffic for your site. However, RWD is only a part of the story. If your site design is not enticing or your product (or service) is not up to the mark, that traffic will not convert. So, you cannot just rely on responsive design to boost your sales and increase revenues.

3. Responsive Sites Are Expensive

There is a common misconception amongst business owners that since RWD is compatible with all kind of devices, it is very expensive.

This is again a myth garnished with a bit of truth.

The cost of making a responsive website can definitely not be categorized as ‘inexpensive’, but the expenses you might otherwise incur to duplicate a website for mobile, eReader, tablets and other devices get completely eliminated; as a result this significantly cuts total development costs.

Moreover, the cost of maintaining separate sites for different devices is more than maintaining a single site.

If you think of RWD from the long term perspective, there is absolutely no doubt that the returns and savings will definitely make up for its cost.

4. Responsive Website Hurts SEO

Nothing could be further from the truth. The search engine giant Google’s recommended configuration when building a website that also target’s smartphones, is responsive web design.

Here are the reasons why Google prefers responsive websites:

• Responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of the device, which makes it easier for Google spiders to crawl and index these sites.
• Since responsive sites can be accessed across a wide range of screen sizes and devices, it translates into consistent and positive user experience.

Even Bing recommends RWD.

5. RWD is for Large-scale Businesses

Many business owners hold this misconception that only the web properties of large businesses need to go responsive. But that is not true. Today, there are 2.1 billion mobile Web users across the world. So, it is difficult to believe that YOUR customers aren’t using mobile to access your site? Even if they aren’t, chances are they will be using their smartphones to access the Web in the near future; in fact they may even stop accessing the web through their desktops.

Your web property needs to be ready for this future.

6. Responsive Design is Only For Mobile Devices

The notion that responsive design is only for mobile is just that, a notion! It’s true that the concept of creating responsive design was driven by the emergence of Internet-enabled mobile devices. However, that does not mean this form of design is limited to mobile devices only. Your site should be able to scale up or down conveniently, regardless of the device the visitor is using.

7. Content Can’t Be Read Properly in Responsive Websites

This, of course is an absurd myth amongst website owners. The concept of a responsive website design has evolved to ensure users can have a satisfactory user experience irrespective of the device being used by them. This form of web design helps create sites that can be viewed flawlessly across a wide range of devices.

Implementing responsive web design will render your site content in such a way that it scales down to effectively fit the size of the screen. What’s more, this content will make sense to the user and do its bit to impress him/her.

So, it is clear that the activity of reading content will not be affected even when a website is designed responsively.

8. Heavier Page Loads Make Responsive Sites Slower

Sometimes, when a responsive site is accessed on mobile it takes more time to load as compared to a desktop. This frustrates visitors resulting in their abandoning the site and moving to a competitor’s site. In such cases, people get the impression that RWD slows down the load speed of a site.

These people have got RWD wrong.

Increase in load time is not due to the responsive nature of the site. The fault here is in the implementation of the design by web designers. To get around this problem, web designers should craft websites with lighter design elements to ensure the site does not take too long to load. This will result in lower bounce rates making visitors stay longer on site and taking desired action.

Responsive design makes your website ‘future-proof’ ensuring you don’t have to worry about a screen size or device that has not yet released on the market. Hence, for the long term, investing in a responsive website is the best decision that you can make!


Pete Peranzo

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