Responsive websites are those that resize images and rearrange content to appear organized on both desktop and mobile devices. Responsive design is very important because in most instances 50% or more of your traffic comes from mobile devices. There are two approaches to responsive websites.
Dual Desktop and Mobile Optimized Pages - You can always do a more thorough and creative presentation on a desktop computer. That's simply because you have a bigger canvas and usually a faster connection for speed. Design a second page for smaller devices where download speed is a bigger consideration. The user is transparently directed to the page that best suits their device and connection speed. It's usually the best but the most expensive approach because you have to maintain and coordinate the information on two pages instead of one. Depending upon what your website's purpose or goal you may not need a more comprehensive desktop presentation. Properly coded pages prevent duplicate content penalties.
Responsive Web Pages - The second approach is to design one page that will work for all devices and that's the approach used on this website. It's less expensive but you may sacrifice content and features that might otherwise display on a desktop version only. Most businesses use this approach because of cost considerations. Beware of responsive designs that float icons over the copy as the screen becomes smaller. It looks "cool' but it obscures the content which isn't cool at all because it detracts from the website's usability.
Try it yourself...
On a Mobile Phone: simply rotate the phone from portrait to landscape mode and watch the images resize and the layout adjust to accommodate the new screen size.
On a Windows Desktop: left click the Restore Down button at the top right corner of your browser. Adjust the width by dragging the right edge of the window and watch the images and the layout resize and or reposition to accommodate the window size.
Is a webpage still responsive if no body can find it? The response to the rhetorical question is "Who cares?" Make sure your website is both responsive and search engine friendly. Otherwise your spending a whole lot of valuable time and money for very little return.
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