Since the beginning of the wireless network, the number of mobile users has increased exponentially across the globe and has become a basic necessity in modern society. As a result of this, responsive web design (RWD) has become an important element in the world of web design and development. Do you find web programming, web development and/or app development terminologies confusing? This is the right place for you because we are here to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of RWD and app development!
1. What is RWD?
RWD utilizes CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets) to create web page designs with flexible units, the most common of which are percentage units. The concept of RWD was revolutionary to the way companies promote themselves through the internet, especially in the industry of mobile web design. It optimizes the user experience by introducing flexibility and enhancing user-friendliness independent of monitor size, unlike conventional design methods.
RWD builds fluid websites with specific percentage widths. Therefore, they can adapt the display on various devices. This technology means that developers do not have to generate multiple browser versions of the same webpage. RWD works by placing page elements on a fluid grid. As the device’s viewport changes, the content will reshuffle and present the layout.
Besides solving the issue of users orientating manually of the webpage on mobile devices with different dimensions. The nature of RWD design brings convenience, optimizes the user experience while solving the issue of users manually orienting the webpage on mobile devices of different dimensions.
2. RWD Web Development vs App Development
Ease of access is the first thing that comes to mind when comparing RWD web and app development. RWD does not require any supporting documents for its application. However, users need to consider download time, disk space, data usage prior downloading a mobile application.
Additionally, users can easily browse the website using different platforms since RWD is a standalone website. In respect of user-friendliness, RWD outshines mobile application.
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2.2 Flexibility to support any device
As a device’s monitor size and specification change rapidly day by day, RWD solves the content fitting problem with automated typesetting. RWD will expand, shrink, and shuffle its content optimally for the user to browse the website according to a given device’s specifications. When developing a mobile application, we have to consider the operating system and its compatibility as well. For example, iOS for iPhone, iPad, and Android for Samsung etc.
If the web was developed in a fixed frame initially without considering the varying specifications from different users, users tend to encounter problems such as failing to adjust the interface ratio, the disabled full functionality of the app.
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2.3 Low Cost of Development
Mobile apps have to be developed individually according to its operating system. Therefore, its development is expensive and time-consuming. A mobile device version for a fixed frame website would need the development of one or more website versions.
Additionally, app maintenance requires a great amount of time and resources since it requires manual approval to launch new app updates. In contrast to apps, the nature of RWD comes in handy for updates.
As RWD applies to all operating systems and its automation feature applies to the structure of the website instead of the content, the user would be able to update the app simultaneously as soon as the backend updates. RWD shares the advantages of convenience in development and lowered maintenance costs.
As the browser platform encases the website, any updates to the user’s device would have minimal impact on the website itself as it is independent of the operating system, thus this characteristic becomes one of the most attracting benefits for developers to build RWD websites.
2.4 Ease of Social Sharing
RWD is a design approach to a website. Users can share the website directly using the link without limitations. For apps, if the person doesn’t have the same app or version, the person would not have the option to share the app content.
2.5 Improvement in SEO Performance
Google has established that RWD is the benchmark of website structure for browsing websites on mobile devices. It also has the direct correlation on search engine optimization (SEO) in 2012. RWD boosts the media coverage of a company’s product via SEO keyword marketing and brings traffic to the company’s website.
RWD has lower development cost as it doesn’t have the situation of the same content, two version, two websites and combines the desktop and mobile site. According to the regulations outlined by Google, two websites with different links and duplicating content results in a poor website ranking.
RWD’s ability to share content among social circles ensures its consistency to users. There are five rules of thumb that improve search ranking – decreased bounce rate, increased site usability, sharing the frequency, website traffic and browse time.
Conversely, if a user opens a desktop website link that was created conventionally with the fixed frame on a mobile device, the device will redirect to the mobile website. This may result in failure conveying the original content to the user.
This worsens user experience and negatively impacts search ranking. Apps run individually and its content is not captured by search engines. The user experience and performance of the app would not be reflected in search ranking but on reviews in the app store.
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2.6 App works hand in hand with smartphone functions
Apps paired with smartphone functions namely, camera, GPS location, and scanning, allow users to use these functions in a seamless and intuitive way.
We hope you would have a better understanding of RWD through this introduction! It is best to consult a professional regarding website design and development to find the optimal solution for your company’s needs. Want to know how much it costs to develop a website, we have a price directory outlining our services.
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