Responsive Design: The “Do or Die” of the Web in 2015

Drawing of a man holding up a screen that displays the google search page
When Google makes an announcement, you need to pay attention!

Google has given webmasters over a month’s notice to follow their new guidelines for mobile friendliness.  They announced that on April, 21 (which is next Tuesday) that mobile search engine results will weigh more heavily on your site being mobile friendly. This means that your site NEEDS to be responsive rather than it just being a cool perk.

What does this mean for you?

Responsive design is something that has hit the market hard within the last few years with the increase in people using their phones for absolutely everything. And I’m sure you’ve noticed at times that when you’re viewing some of your favorite sites, that it looks a little wonky on your phone rather than that nice clean and beautiful interface that you experience on your desktop. That’s the difference. Those sites aren’t responsive, and it’s evident. I would also bet that you closed the browser app and said to yourself, “ill just look at this later on my computer.”

Making your site responsive means that we will build your site on a fluid grid system that responds to the various screen sizes including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and large monitors in order to assure an optimal user experience.  A responsive site automatically adapts itself to the user’s device size. This not only serves all known devices, it will also work for new devices because the sizing is not based on specific device types.

So, how do you know if you’re ready?

Google has given a tool to use and determine whether your site is mobile friendly.  And considering the clout Google has, it’s probably the best idea to go ahead and use that tool.  And the best part, is you can use it yourself with just a few easy steps.

What do we know about the update?

We know that Google has said the update will occur on April, 21st, and will apply only to mobile search. However, there is speculation that this update will eventually become a part of the desktop algorithm.  The update is intended to help mobile users to find high-quality content easier on their mobile device.

What can you do from here?

If we haven’t stressed this enough then please listen again.  A mobile friendly, responsive website has now become a need. Google is giving you a fair warning about what is to come in mobile search.  If you don’t have a mobile friendly site then you should be figuring out how to get there soon.

The best place to start the Google Mobile Friendliness Testing Tool to examine your website. Just click the link, enter in your website URL, and hit “Analyze.” Google’s good about giving you simple, easy to decipher information, so based on your site, they show you results like this…

Mobile Friendly Test for Google

If your results come back like these with a “Not Mobile Friendly,” its time to make strides to making your site responsive. Otherwise, according to the update you may notice a downtick in your website traffic.  And that’s the last thing we want for you. The best news is we can help, and we don’t have to completely redesign your site in order to make it responsive. We just have to transform what’s already there! However, if your design is 2+ years old, it may be time to start taking note of some of the new web design trends hitting the web.

For a little extra, we’ve included some examples of recent sites from two different industries that we have designed and made responsive.

Herrington Architects

(Desktop version)
Website page for Herrington Architects

(Responsive mobile version) 

Website page for Herrington Architects

Ex Voto Vintage

(Desktop version)

Website page for "ex voto vintage"

(Responsive mobile version)

The mobile version of a website for "ex voto vintage"For any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at or on our main line at 205.823.4440.

About Valerie

Valerie is a self-proclaimed word nerd, with a passion for the English language. She can not only dot the I's and cross the T's, but can also tell you what big words mean (and even use them in a sentence). She uses her communication skills to build strong relationships with current and potential clients – and usually does so while sitting underneath a blanket, sipping hot tea. When she's not working, she's probably cleaning and organizing everything – yes, everything, probably even your house. See more articles from Valerie Powell

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