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The Importance of Responsive Design in Web Directories

We live in a world and age where things are slowly shifting towards mobile optimization and responsive design. With more and more Internet users going mobile, the number of people who choose to access the internet through smart phones, tablets or other mobile devices is on the rise. As a matter of fact, some estimates suggest that there are more people who log onto the Internet using mobile devices (1.6 billion) than users who log online on a desktop or laptop (1.5 billion).

This new trend involving responsive design has surged lately, taking over all niches and industries. From normal websites to e-shops, in order not to lose this traffic, all kinds of Internet-based platforms need to become responsive. This includes web directories, which will need to become responsive in order to accommodate the huge number of mobile users who are now looking for web directories on their mobile devices, on a regular basis or while on the go.

Why Go Responsive?

There is no doubt that responsive web design is a huge leap forward from the web design point of view of only a year or so ago. Tablet and smartphone adoption has inResponsive Designcreased at an astounding pace, changing everything we know about online advertising. Before the proliferation of mobile devices, web designers had only one big challenge to overcome — to create websites and platforms that maintain the same look and feel, regardless of which web browser was used. However, since the advent of mobile devices, web designers have to find ways to optimize websites for mobile devices.

Responsive web design is a unique approach of coding and laying out a website in order to ensure an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, screen sizes and resolutions, including laptops, computer monitors, tablets and mobile phones. When creating a responsive website, the web designer has to ensure that all of the navigation elements, images, text, screen-layouts, A/V players and other UI elements are able to readjust themselves to be presented on a variety of devices. Rather than having two versions of a website — a desktop-site and a mobile site — one can have only one version, a responsive site.

Advantages of Responsive Web Designs

There are several advantages to using a responsive design in web directories. Here are a few that will apply to any type of website.

Responsive Design Saves Time and Money

The myth that a responsive website is expensive is just that, a myth. The fact of the matter is that, although a responsive website may cost slightly more than a conventional one to build, creating a separate mobile site will cost much more. Moreover, maintaining a responsive website requires fewer resources than maintaining two versions of the same site, a desktop version and a mobile version.

Responsive Design is Flexible

A responsive website is fluid, which means the content moves freely across all types of resolutions and screens. The images, grids and videos are also fluid, with no lags.

Responsive Design Offers a Flawless User Experience

Another reason to go responsive is that your website visitors’ experience will be near to perfection, if it is done well. If the page does not load properly or the content is not listed properly, few users will decide to take their time to consume the content on your page or to choose another device to access your site. Responsive design is all about providing the optimal user experience regardless of the device and platform used to access your site. With a flexible design, users can enjoy the same experience on all their devices without having to resize or scroll.

Responsive Design is Recommended by Google

Like it or not, with more than 67 percent of the market share, Google is king when it comes to websites, content and user experience. When Google speaks, marketers and web designers listen and put into practice. Google recommends the use of responsive design, because a responsive website has the same HTML and URL. In other words, it’s easier for Google’s bots and crawlers to index a website and to organize its content.

Responsive Design in Web Directories

The importance of responsive design in web directories cannot be ignored forever. As more and more people begin using these small devices to access the Internet, wouldn’t it be beneficial if they could turn to your directory to find whatever they are looking for, as they did in the past on their desktop computers?

Others will prefer to manually submit their website or blog to web directories while they are traveling or away from their regular computer. Not only is this a convenience, but if you can catch them while they are thinking about it, you will maximize your profits.

Web directories that are responsive are going to attract more users and potential site submitters because it will be clear that they are a step ahead of many of the others. There is no doubt that responsive web directories are the tip of the spear in terms of technological advancement, since so many of the competing directories are not.

A good example of this is the Trenchless Directory. If you access this niche directory on your tablet or smart phone, you will notice that you don’t have to zoom in, zoom out, or scroll horizontally in order to navigate its pages.

After you have viewed it on your mobile device, if you were to access the Trenchless Directory on a desktop or laptop computer, you will find that everything is displayed equally well on a larger screen. Whichever device you use, everything is laid out perfectly, giving you access to all of the information available there with ease, regardless of which device you are using.

Conclusion

Whatever the type of website you have, be it a blog, an informational site, or a web directory, integrating responsive design will offer you an advantage over your competition today, and may become a necessity tomorrow. Responsive design is the trend of the decade, and we all need to keep up, including the web directory industry.


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Brad Smith is a contributing author to Web Directory Digest.


'The Importance of Responsive Design in Web Directories' have 4 comments

  1. December 29, 2014 @ 5:16 pm Ray

    Great article!
    This is kind-of “the big white elephant in the room” that most older, established directories don’t want to tackle.
    But, in their defense, and speaking from my own experience, its no an easy task, specially when you have an older directory script, that’s been heavily modified and, in some cases, uniquely created for your directory.

    Older CGI, and even PHP scripts have some portions of the html code embedded within individual components that makes up their page rendering, making the transition to a responsive theme a major endeavor.
    For most of us, the only way to go is to START OVER with a current, modern, compliant script, that’s an even more scary proposition.

    Reply

    • December 29, 2014 @ 6:16 pm WDD-Admin

      Yes, it may be all but impossible for some directories. Fortunately, many of these will be the older authority directories that will continue to be important despite this. This could post a problem for the ones that are well underway but not yet entrenched, though.

      Reply

      • January 2, 2015 @ 8:47 pm Jenna

        Older, more established directories may find it ‘all but impossible’ to move to a responsive design, as you say, but they still need to utilize the new technologies in order to maintain market share. One way to do that would be to create a supplementary site for mobile, with clear notices that guide them to the main site when they’re using a different device.

        Reply

  2. January 1, 2015 @ 7:33 pm Clarice SEPC

    I have been surfing online greater than three hours lately, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It is beautiful value enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content material as you did, the internet might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

    Reply


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