Remember a couple of years ago when all the major television shows had to switch to a "High Definition" format, befitting the technological tides turning toward wider screens and crisper imagery? Well, something similar is in the accelerating process of happening with the web, and any business that doesn't adjust accordingly will frankly be left in the dust.
Or at least, any business that depends heavily on their web presence. And since that encompasses almost every ambitious up-and-coming business in the 21st century (and probably you, if you're reading this), it's clearly going to be ideal to make your site as fluid and malleable for your users - and their many ways of accessing your site - as possible.
Even if you don’t know what a "responsive" webpage is, you've almost certainly seen and endured one. Ever try to access a page on the net and find that the site doesn't configure itself on your cell phone or tablet? And how everything stays either miniscule or spaced-out so that you have to scroll sideways just to be able to view the whole page? Well, that's an unresponsive site.
In case you don't know, this matters because market researchers have projected that 2014 will see mobile use surpass fixed internet (i.e. standard computer) as the primary way that people get onto the net. Like it or not, the age of the mobile-only user is dawning. Resistance is futile.
But responsiveness extends even further than just the standard page formatting incompatibilities. One aspect of these changing tides that hasn't received much discussion (yet) is that the ever-increasing neatness of mobile web use - everything being tidy and orderly and subject to every human whim - has already subliminally been turning the modern client into a person who doesn't particularly like seeing an antiquated set-up. If you scroll your mouse over the social media icons on top of our homepage at Matthews Media, for instance, you'll note that the icons shade in — they respond. This is the kind of seemingly meaningless touch that is actually the kind of tiny detail that tickles your prospective clients in just the right places — and keeps them browsing your services.
Oh, and by the way: if you're worried about the extra costs you'll have to bear in order to adapt your site to a user-responsive format, consider that five billion people - over two-thirds of the world's population - will be using mobile phones by 2017. If you're still wondering what the big rush is, well, to quote Louis Armstrong: "There are some folks who, if they don't know, you can't tell 'em."