What is Responsive Design and Why Does My Site Need It?

Aug 31, 2021 | Website Design

Can you remember the early days of smartphones, when trying to view any website involved having to zoom way in so that you could see what was on the page? 

While we were all happy enough to endure this annoyance back when smartphones weren’t such a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Within a few years, however, website design began to catch up and introduced responsive web design options for businesses to make their sites viewable on smartphones. 

Starting in 2015, Google decided to make it even more imperative that companies make their websites mobile-friendly by adding it as one of the top ranking signals for organic searches. These days, over half of all mobile users report having sought out a competitor in favor of shopping with a business whose site didn’t display properly on their mobile device.

What is Responsive Design?

A responsive design allows a website to change its layout to suit whatever device a user is viewing the site with – especially for those on mobile devices. A responsive website is able to:


  • Make text readable without having to zoom in.
  • Has enough space to allow for users to tap on buttons, menus, etc.
  • Does not require any horizontal scrolling.


With more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, ignoring the unique needs of these users means that you are likely missing out on many potential customers.

The Benefits of Mobile Responsive Design

The biggest and most important benefit of having a responsive website is that you are guaranteeing that any user, no matter what device they are on, is able to have the best experience possible when on your website. They can also expect a consistent experience if they visit your website on different devices in order to complete their purchase.

Transitioning to a responsive design is also a great way to refine the content on your site, ensuring that mobile users are only seeing the most relevant and essential information to help them on their buying journey.

And thanks to that 2015 Google update we mentioned earlier, a site with a responsive design is going to be more visible on searches, ranking above others whose sites are not mobile-friendly.

Why Responsive Design is Important for Business

Google accounts for over 6 billion searches on the web daily, which means that, if you aren’t making Google happy, you aren’t reaching nearly as many people as you could be. Making sure that your site is mobile responsive will:

  • Increase your reach to customers and clients on all devices.
  • Provide a consistent experience that can increase lead generation, sales and conversions
  • Allow for analytics, tracking, and reporting to be visible in one place.
  • Stay ahead of the competition.

How to Make a Responsive Design

Like many aspects of web design, making a responsive website takes time and expertise. Our designers can use one of two different methods to build you a responsive site. The first is called dynamic serving, which uses the same URL but different CSS and HTML coding. Pages are able to recognize what device is viewing it thanks to this code, and are then able to display pages in the correct format.

The second option for responsive design is having a separate mobile site altogether. This means that, when users visit your site on a mobile drive, they are sent to a different mobile-specific URL. You may have noticed this when a site sends you to their URL with an “m.” in front of it.

Which option to use depends on your individual needs and budget.

When it Comes to Responsive Design – Trust the Experts

As with other aspects of web design, building an SEO-optimized and responsive site isn’t exactly an easy process if you don’t know what you are doing. That is why you should trust the experts at Gulf Coast Web to do the heavy lifting for you. When you hire us to build or refresh your website, you are getting a team of industry experts to help you with every aspect of building your site, from buying the URL to launch.

At Gulf Coast Web, we have over 25 years of experience in managing all types of digital design and marketing campaigns – even for companies outside of our immediate area. Our staff consists of highly-trained digital design advertising professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.