More and more web users are browsing online from the mobile devices, hence the need for responsive web design. More than ever before, websites are being viewed from devices with screens as small as eight centimetres in width, resulting in frustrating experiences for many users when a website will simply not display as a functional document.
Smartphones in particular have gained in popularity in the past few years, and these small screened but highly capable devices are now the central internet browsing choice for millions of users. In fact, many people no longer use a computer to go online, but complete all of their business and pleasure activities solely on their smartphones.
The challenge then for web designers and website developers is to create a website that caters to both traditional computer users as well as those who are browsing from mobile devices like smartphones and iPads. When mobile devices first started attracting the attention of developers, many selected to simply create two versions of a website: one for computer users, another for mobile users. However, this resulted in duplicate content, of which more than ever before is now frowned upon excessively by the search engines. Additionally, running what is essentially two separate websites is simply not feasible or logical, particularly for larger sites, which is why responsive web design makes sense.