Web design can seem unassuming, yet it’s a major factor in whether prospective renters are able to find the information they need on your property. As more and more people access the internet from mobile devices, responsive web design has become the most important feature for apartment websites. And we’re about to tell you everything you need to know about responsive design…
What is Responsive Design, Anyway?
If your website has responsive design, that means that it responds or adjusts when viewed on different devices. Got a smartphone? A widescreen desktop monitor? Something in between, perhaps, like a tablet? If you’re like most users, then you probably browse the web on more than one of these devices. Responsive design is an approach to building your website that allows it to display and function well on any device.
“Mobile Friendly” is Not Necessarily Responsive
Just because your website is “mobile-friendly” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s responsive. Oftentimes, mobile-friendly websites are a smaller version of your site that’s completely separate from your main website. This approach has a mountain of disadvantages when it comes to maintenance, compatibility and SEO (search engine optimization).
Why Responsive Matters
According to Marketing Land’s statistics, over 56% of all web traffic comes from mobile. Think of that in terms of your potential tenants. One in every three renters is coming to your site in a non-traditional browser.
You don’t have to be a statistician to see the writing on the wall. More and more people are using the web on smaller devices that have some inherent limitations. If a user comes to a website that doesn’t look or act right on their device, they’re far more likely to move on than to change their device.
Responsive design hits the bottom line.
Take the Test
The cliche way of checking to see if your property’s website is responsive can be done in seconds. Refer to the example of Greystar’s website: responsive version and full website.
- Open up your website in your desktop or laptop.
- Click-and-drag the corner of the browser to make the window really narrow.
- If your website is responsive, it will “snap” or respond by hiding or repositioning elements on the page to match what it believes is the new screen size.
- If it works, click and drag your browser back and forth from large to small. It’s fun to watch your website transform before your eyes.
- Stop moving your mouse once you feel silly. Maybe sooner, if someone is watching.
So you did the test and your website didn’t seem to “snap” or respond. That means your website is unresponsive. What next?
Generally, responsive design is something decided before the building process begins on a website. It’s much like constructing a multi-story building – you decide on the number of floors before the foundation is laid because it affects how the whole structure should be built. Most likely, it will take more than a few small adjustments to make your website responsive. Have a qualified web designer dig around in the code and let you know what’s salvageable.
Responsive Design: The Present + Future
Responsive web design is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. As more and more people access the web via mobile, it’s imperative that your information displays correctly on any device. Otherwise, those leads will begin to slip through your fingertips. As mobile traffic increases, renters aren’t going to change their devices to accommodate you, so it’s about time you changed your design.