responsiveAs the number of devices, platforms and browsers that can display your website grows, having one site that works on literally any screen is becoming critical for your business.

The big driver for this is the drastic shift towards mobile. Tables and smart phones have now become more prevalent than desktops and laptops for searching the web and performing advanced business functions.

According to ComScore, web access from tablet devices has been growing at a rate of 173% year after year and as new players come into that space, the web pages being accessed by tablet devices will only grow larger. Smart phones have been around longer and yet web access from smart phones has continued to increase at a rate of about 67% year after year. Desktop and laptop access has begun their downward slide decreasing at a rate of 6% a year.

From an article in Compuware, 60% of mobile users expect a mobile site to load in 3 seconds or less, 71% expect that a mobile site will load as fast as it does on a desktop / laptop and 78% will retry a site two times or less if it doesn’t load initially.

Finally, according to Search Engine Land, 9 out of 10 times a web site is visited from a mobile device results in a call to action and over 50% of those visits lead to a purchase.

The bad news …

only about 10% of the web sites on the Internet are optimized for mobile and when most business owners are asked, they feel their site “looks okay” on a mobile device. Looking okay and functioning okay are not necessarily the same.

So what is it anyhow?

Essentially, a responsive design site contains one place for your web site code, one web site URL and one deployment where all your web site content is available across all devices and ready for the future.

The “server side” (where your web site code lives), knows what type of device and what browser called the site and as a result, the server displays up your web site to meet the browser and device requirements. It’s really that simple.

Oh, and Google loves responsive design sites and give you a little SEO reward for it too!

While there is additional time and strategy involved in creating a new mobile responsive site, it is one of the more cost effective investments you can make in going mobile.