Why Responsive Web Design Costs More

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One of the biggest trend in web design today is for designers to create a site that utilizes Responsive Web Design. Responsive Web Design refers to creating sites that automatically render or snap to the screen resolution of the device on which they are accessed. Thus the site will look different on a smartphone, versus a tablet, versus a PC or laptop. This is an excellent design feature and it is one that is really popular with most people who browse the net. However, it is also typically a good bit more expensive than traditional web design and before they are willing to shell out the extra cash for it, many companies and sites who are considering Responsive Web Design would like an explanation for why it costs more. That is why we created the following article which highlights some of the top reasons for why Responsive Web Design costs more than regular web design.

Extra Labor

There is a great deal more labor that goes into developing a site in Responsive Web Design than in a traditional format. That is because the coding is much more complicated and time consuming to do. A simple element that might take less than an hour to design for a traditional website make take several hours to do on a site that will be using Responsive Web Design.

Since Responsive Web Design as a whole is a much newer, more emerging design trend it is something which most web designers aren’t as familiar with as traditional web design. That means that there is a greater likelihood that the design will need to stop and look something up, or simply spend longer organizing their thoughts and coming up with a plan of action. Again, however, even without any extra delays for research and planning, the sheer amount of coding itself is more difficult and time consuming to do.

Different Browsers

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets are one of the primary elements of Responsive Web Design that makes it possible in the first place. Properly, carefully coded CSS is at the core of a well-designed Responsive Website. However, problems can arise because different browsers read CSS differently. That means that what might have looked in Firefox and Chrome, might look awful or work improperly in Internet Explorer or Safari.

This complication is often exacerbated by the fact that many smartphones and tablets have an even stronger tie to a particular built in browser than a laptop or PC would. That makes it much harder for people to simply open a different browser and try viewing the page with that instead. Of course even that solution wouldn’t be suitable since the burden should still rightfully be on the designer to create pages that look great across all the major browsers. Nevertheless, the fact that different browsers read CSS differently, definitely adds to the complication involved.

More Screen Sizes

The whole point of Responsive Web Design is for the site to be able to look great on any screen size. However, because of the vast number of different screen sizes out there, that means there is much more work involved in testing and development. Before anything can be released it will need to be verified that it will work properly on all the most popular devices. This means that it is not simply enough to check the site on an iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Instead the site should be verified on a Droid, Kindle, Nexus, Nook, etc.

As you might imagine optimizing the site for all these different devices and screen sizes is very time consuming. The testing involved needs to be thorough and painstaking. Designers which also need to have access to a wide range of different devices which can also be more expensive to accumulate and maintain.

More Javascript

Javascript is one of the primary pieces of framework on which most mobile devices operate. That means that Responsive Web Design will need to build in even more Javascript so that a site’s navigation menu will load and operate properly when it is accessed from a mobile device. Once again this extra layer of code and complications makes the entire process more difficult and time consuming.

The bottom line is that while Responsive Web Design looks great and is probably worth it, it will definitely cost more to do. It is important for companies and individuals who are thinking of having their site done in Responsive Web Design to understand that this is not simply the designers trying to price gouge; instead it is a reflection of the reality that Responsive Web Design takes a great amount of labor, time, resources, and expertise.

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