The Fundamental Issues With Responsive Design


Responsive web design has been heralded as some sort of amazing and awesome thing that every webmaster should use. The infographics above shows that the same website shows the same content but it adapts to the size of the screen. This is the idea behind responsive design, a one site fits all sort of deal where we don’t have redirects. For instance visiting on a mobile device, will send you to this is because, they are redirecting due to not having a responsive design however it might be the smarter move.

Advantages (Quick Recap)

Improved SEO because there are no redirects. There is a lot more value to your site because all of the value is pointed towards one domain and not a subdomain.
Don’t have to code a second site. With a .m site then you will have to make a second site and redirect all mobile traffic there.
Easier to manage. One site is easier to manage then two.
Looks impressive to friends or visitors. Responsive design is very impressive as long as it is done well but that is the main issue.

Slow Loading Times: Larger sites that use a lot of scripts, will load a lot slower, and the reason is because we can’t prevent scripts from loading without using very long lines of JQUERY, and it is a very large script its self. So you are putting a lot of time trying to stop scripts from loading on mobile devices, and you need to remember to prevent the element from loading as well. Not only that but comparing it to a mobile site you get rid of all that fluff, you have less CSS, less html, and less scripts. While they still load on the responsive design, so this is why a mobile site is better.

Complex: Some would argue building a decent responsive design is complicated, I did mine by getting rid of the sidebar, related posts, and anything not necessary. This was easy, but it is an extremely sloppy way of doing it. While my site loads in about 2 seconds, it is sloppy I have code that sits there rotting, and it is embarrassing.

Limitations: There is an issue with responsive design,and that is you can’t use many features that mobile devices such as custom UI, as well as adding specific elements. For instance lets say I want a slider on the desktop but not on the mobile device so I have to go in add the elements and then try to filter all of them out. If we compare it to mobile apps, then we will realize how limited responsive design is.

Flash: I don’t get why people still use flash, but if you do use flash on your website, then you will see that mobile users can’t see that element. That is because there is no flash for your mobile devices. While most sites don’t use flash, we still can’t use them on mobile devices.

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Scott Hartley is a web developer, college student, and an article. Scott has work appearing or coming on several sites including The Daily Exposition, and The Arcade Corner. When Scott is not working on websites or studying for classes he is likely reading about various scientific discoveries and experiments.