The Growth Of Responsive Web Designs

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(by Kevin O'Brien 1/1/2015)

A recent poll by Google shows over 80% of their followers on Google plus have said they are using responsive web design (RWD). But is this really indicative of the internet as a whole?

If this seems a high number to you then you are not the only one. Many SEO and online marketeers are suggesting this is overly optimistic. It now seems their scepticism could be right. A recent independent developer ran some very revealing tests by crawling the top 10,000 sites in Alexa to check if they were responsive. Have a look at that post in the link above for more details on the method he used. He wrote code to look for media tags which indicated if the sites were using RWD.

The result of these very statistically reliable tests showed that only 11% of the top 100 sites were responsive. The top 10,000 sites showed that the adoption was up to 18.7%. So we have an increase in adoption when we include smaller companies. Other researchers have done tests using fortune 100 and S&P 500 companies with similar results.

These figures seem to suggest that the move to responsive designs is slower for the top 100 companies compared to the top 1000. With the top 1000 slower than top 10,000, which is very likely due to the top companies having more stake holders and and more complex websites to have to re-redesign.

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Because we have many more independent researchers showing roughly 18% take up for RWD, this shows that Google's figure of 80% is not to be relied on in this particular case.

But although Google's numbers are probably wrong, the 18% by other researchers still represents a significant growth. If we consider that responsive web design is only about five years old. This technology only became relevant in 2010 when enough people began to use the browsers that supported the new CSS3 and HTML5 technologies.

The numbers of responsive sites is now growing quickly. They are now catching up with separate URLs as the dominant mobile site configuration method. Sites with separate URLs for mobile and desktop ("Mdot") were found 21% of the time in the study above, and responsive web design ("RWD") was right behind that with 17% of the total.

Its now 2015 in which Google has reported that they are now sending more traffic to mobiles than to desktops. So if you want to know how to build responsive designs now is the time to do so. Get your site changed and you'll be part of the growth that is 18% with a website far more easily found through mobile devices.

Also Google announced this April 2015 that they now reward sites in search results who use RWD

22 May 2015


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