What Is Responsive Web Design and Why Is It Important? | Lesson 23/31 | SEMrush Academy

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0:13 Dynamic serving
0:30 Separate domain
0:55 Responsive design

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When you’re designing a mobile site, you’ve got three choices. You can use a dynamic service, a separate domain, or a responsive design.

With dynamic serving, the server detects the user’s device type and serves the appropriate version of your site. While they’re accessing the same URL, the files that used to display that page will be completely different between the mobile version and the desktop version.

If you use the separate domain, you’re typically setting up your mobile site on an m. subdomain. It’s a completely separate version of your site. Just like dynamic serving, the files are completely separate between desktop and mobile versions.

These methods make optimization harder – you’ve got to do every task multiple times, and maintenance is harder because you’ve got so many more files involved.

With responsive design, you’ve got a single site, with a single version of each page. Responsive CSS coding makes your content “fluid”, so it changes based on the device that’s viewing the page. SEO is much easier with a responsive site too – When you’re writing content and optimizing elements on a page, you only have to do it once.

Google prefers and recommends responsive design. You’ve got a single set of files, with one version of content, and you’re able to serve a great user experience to every customer, regardless of the device they’re using.

With the release of the mobile first index, you should always design your pages for mobile first – and then use responsive CSS to change the page and enhance the experience for desktop users. This is backwards from how most people approach mobile sites – typically, they design the page for desktop users and then simply assume that the responsive code will let the page work on mobile too.

You have to think mobile first – design for mobile, then optimize for mobile, and then redesign for desktop. This will help ensure that you’re paying attention to mobile user experience, which will help you show up higher in mobile searches.

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