First of all, let’s make this clear. It is not a matter of whether or not you need responsive web design. You do! More than 50% of all consumers now access the Web primarily on mobile devices (smartphones & tablets). If you sell or provide services directly to consumers, the best solution for adapting to this sea-change in how the Internet is used is to upgrade to a 'responsive' website design.

Responsive Web Design - Small Business Guide

So, What Is Responsive Web Design?

The dictionary defines the word ‘responsive’ as “to react appropriately.” What a responsive website does is determine what sort of Mobile or desktop device it is being viewed on and adapt to it. For example, if the website is being viewed on a Mobile Web smartphone, it will shrink all images, videos, and the width of a column of text to fit the width of the smartphone’s screen. It may also enlarge the fonts and menu so that you can easily select links using finger touch instead of a mouse or trackpad. It does this automatically with any Mobile Web device it is viewed on, whether that is an iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, Blackberry, etc. In addition, the website will retain its normal full-size proportions when viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.

A responsive website instantly adapts content to fit any Mobile or desktop device used to view your website.

responsive web design for small business

Is Responsive Web Design My Only Option?

Well, for most small business websites it is the best option. The other choice you can make is to build a separate website to handle Mobile Web devices like smartphones and tablets. That strategy brings a number of drawbacks. For one, you maintain two websites instead of one. Your customers must now remember two domain names, one for your original website, and one for the mobile website. Third, search engines such as Google may see the two websites as having duplicate content. That may hurt the search engine ranking and optimization for both websites. Google considers having one responsive website as the best way to meet the needs of all web browsing customers.

what is responsive website design?

What Will It Cost To Build A Responsive Website?

Typically, the higher technical demands and requirements of responsive website development usually add another 30-50% to the budget of any website project. Good responsive web design requires more planning, development time, and testing. Of course, there are ways to simplify and reduce the cost of responsive website development by building a website with pre-made themes and other cost-saving tools. For example, websites that use WordPress can easily be converted to responsive web design by the use of cost-effective themes that are customized to fit the user's needs.

At, I specialize in building high-quality responsive websites for small business budgets. Call Don Peterson, Freelance Mobile Website Designer, at to discuss your options. I can help you to tap into the growing Mobile Web market!

Responsive Web Design—A Simple Def…