The Pros and Cons of Responsive Web Design

Mobile device usage continued to grow in 2012. With an estimated 48% of people in the US accessing the web through their mobile device and a reported 17% of these consumers using it as their primary means of browsing, ensuring your website can respond appropriately is more important than ever.

Responsive web design enables a website to respond to all devices based on the screen resolution and is recommended by Google, but what impact will a change like this have on your digital marketing programs?

There are risks and costs associated with developing and implementing a responsive website, so it is important to understand the benefits and how it would impact your business before deciding to move forward. This is not always a cut-and-dry decision.

From a digital marketing perspective, here are a few pros and cons to consider:


  • Substantially increased performance from paid and natural search
  • Better overall user experience and shareability
  • Decreased site maintenance cost
  • Reduction in the human error that comes with managing multiple sites


  • Limited ability to specifically target mobile users through natural search
  • Increased initial cost of website development
  • 25% of visits are made from desktop browsers that don’t fully support responsive design
  • Potential for increased load time on smaller screens if not implemented correctly

Read more about “Responsive Design – Paid, Owned and Earned Media POV” on Thought Leadership, which further explores this topic.

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