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The Dos and Don'ts of Responsive Web Design for Dealerships

Once upon a time, if you wanted to browse an auto dealership website, you turned on your desktop, dialed in on your 14.4K modem, and waited forever for each page to render. Now, customers are just as likely to reach for their phone to find out more information on the latest models. If your site isn’t responsive, offering the same clear navigation, quick load times, and clear information on a mobile device as on a laptop screen, your customers are likely to go to your competitors instead. CarCasm helps car dealerships find and retain customers, and responsive car dealer websites are one of the most important tools in our kit (and yours). 


What Responsive Design Is, and Why Responsive Design Matters

A responsive design is one that recognizes different types of devices and adapts itself accordingly. Mobile devices far outnumber desktops, with many users owning and browsing on multiple device types. So a responsive design keeps your customers engaged.


But that’s not the only reason to embrace responsive design. Google — the dominant player when it comes to organic search — expects responsiveness, in part because it improves their search algorithm, and also because a responsive design places a much lower strain on site users’ resources when it’s implemented correctly.


Getting Responsive Design Right


Don’t design for devices, since there are tens of thousands of devices between the Android, Windows, and iOS segments. But don’t forget that mobile and desktop browsing often bring different user behaviors with them. 


Do design for screen size ranges (wearables, small, medium, large, and extra-large screens) rather than absolute sizes. Also make sure your mobile site recognizes and works with the common gestures (touch, pinch, spread, drag, swipe, et cetera) used by mobile owners.


Don’t reinvent the wheel. Some designers will assemble a separate mobile site, which is time-consuming and expensive.


Do use templates. A well-designed auto dealership website template ensures a uniform experience across platforms, preserving your brand and keeping shoppers (and Google) happy.


Don’t fight customers’ browsing habits. While mobile is growing in importance, you can’t afford to ignore people who still use laptops and desktops, or who start browsing on one platform and continue elsewhere.


Do keep the user experience uniform. Someone visiting your mobile site is going to want the same information as any other user, so make sure it’s present and easy to access.


Don’t be inflexible. We understand that you take pride in your site just as you take pride in every other aspect of your dealership, but responsive design requires a degree of flexibility to work best.


Do think of water. Water has no shape of its own, taking the shape of its container even when it’s frozen; your data and UX need to be similarly fluid.


Don’t simply assume it works. OS, browser, and security updates can all change the look, feel, and function of a site.

Do test frequently and make updates to your website’s backend as needed to keep up with new developments.


Don’t ignore responsive design. As we’ve already discussed, a lot is riding on your website and your search results, and you can’t afford to neglect either.

Do rely on professional help, because the services offered by CarCasm allow you to focus on your dealership and your sales rather than devoting your limited time and resources to an area outside your expertise. Contact us for a consultation on design, SEO, marketing, and a wide range of other services specially tailored to the needs of car dealerships!

Our promise as developers is to put quality work into every project while delivering professional expertise and most importantly exceptional customer service.

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