Boston Globe responsive website, featuring Apple Newton. Photo courtesy of Antoine Lefeuvre
Boston Globe responsive website, featuring Apple Newton.
Photo courtesy of Antoine Lefeuvre

Has your website kept up with the times?  A report from comScore shows that we are now past the "mobile Tipping Point," at which the majority of media consumption is done on mobile devices rather than desktops. A KCPB report also shows that people are now spending longer times per day consuming media on mobile devices instead of desktops.

One way to make sure you're effective in this changing digital world is to utilize responsive design. That's a form of web coding that changes how a web page looks according to the space available on the screen being used. Responsive design makes these sites work just as well on a mobile phone or a tablet as they would on a desktop.

The LBM industry's use of responsive design remains sporadic. Of the top 50 companies on the ProSales 100, none of the top three and nine of the top 25 lacked mobile-friendly websites. Likewise, 13 of the next 25 on the list forced visitors to navigate a regular web page that was stuffed into a tiny screen.

There are plenty of reasons for your business to make that switch to responsive design. Chief among these reasons, Google. The internet giant is now rewarding companies that are mobile-friendly, giving them a higher ranking in searches on mobile devices.

Another reason you may want to make the switch to responsive design: it will save your company money. It is more cost-effective to use responsive design than to create a separate mobile site for your business. When you create a separate mobile site, you are forced to pay for the upkeep of two sites rather than just one. If one site can cover multiple platforms, why not save money and utilize responsive design? 

Last but certainly not least, responsive design creates a hassle-free process for customers. When using the regular desktop version of a website on your phone or tablet, you must constantly resize it. There can also be issues with trying to actually click on something or make a purchase. Not to mention, this newfound compatibility can decrease your site's bounce rate as well as increase traffic and leads.  
And if you think builders and remodelers are different from ordinary consumers, think again. By the second quarter of this year the percentage of combined mobile and tablet sessions for Remodeling's website had risen to 37% from 32% in the year-earlier period. At sister publication Builder, it rose to 34% from 28%. Meanwhile, ProSales' mobile traffic climbed to 20.9% from 12.1%over the same period in 2014. 

For those looking to incorporate responsive design into their websites, the costs may vary depending on exactly what you want to do with your business' site. According to Google, there are a few options: you can outsource the project and get a web-developer to create the site, use a mobile theme if you created your site on Wordpress, or go through and manually change the code to make it responsive.