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Advantages and Disadvantages of Responsive Web Design


 What is Responsive Web Design?


Things are changing now.

Mobile Devices are outperforming desktop devices and becoming the most common terminals in Internet. As a consequence, web designers have to face the big problem: How to show visitors the same page in different devices?



Because the different screen size of mobile devices are smaller than PC, its not an easy job to show the same effect in different devices. Sometimes the webpage seems perfect in desktop devices, but the same content will be unacceptable in mobile devices.

To solve the problem, some websites offer different webpages for different devices, for instance, they design a webpage specifically for mobile or iPhone/iPad. This practice can provide an optimal viewing experience, but its so troublesome to maintain multiple webpage. Besides, if a website has multiple portal (entry), it will increase the difficulty in site structure.

Hence, the Responsive Web Design is coming.



In 2010, Ethan Marcotte came up with the word Responsive Web Design: a web design which can detect screen size automatically and adjust the webpage layout for a better view.

He made a sample webpage, which has six heroes avatars in Sherlock Holmes.

If screen width is more than 1300 pixels, the six avatars will be in a line:



If the screen width is between 600 pixels to 1300 pixels, these avatars will be divided into two lines



If screen width is between 400 pixels to 600 pixels, the navigation will be moved to the head of the webpage.



If screen size is less than 400 pixels, the avatars will be divided into three lines:




 Advantages of Responsive Web Design


The advantages of Responsive Web Design is obvious:

1. Visitors can get the same viewing experience with different browsers in different devices.

2. A Responsive Web Design doesnt have different webpage versions, so you can keep the same SEO strategy.

3. You dont have to manage multiple webpages, which can reduce maintenance cost of a website.

4. You can keep the origin link of your webpage in different devices.

5. Now Google also recommend using Responsive Design. Because it will be much easier for Google to handle the same HTML and content in different devices.



Disadvantages of Responsive Web Design


1. Responsive Web Design is not so called one-size-fits-all in some devices. For instance, some webpages look perfect in PC, but it looks not so good in Mobile after being resized. Especially the navigation part in mobile devices, the responsive web design also makes the navigation difficult to set out in an intuitive and comprehensive manner.

2. People visiting website in different devices might have different needs, they want something new rather than the same contents in different devices.

3. The average development time of building a responsive website is usually 20% more than the time of building a standard site.


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