With over 70% of cell phone owners looking up websites on their phones, sites that are not optimized for a smaller screen are being left behind. Mobile usage of the internet is steadily rising and will continue to do so into 2017 and beyond.
Most business owners do not even give a second thought to a mobile site. Some owners have been told they would have to pay double just to get a mobile site built. There are also a lot of terms that are being loosely thrown around by people trying to make a buck on the latest fad.
RESPONSIVE DESIGN / RESPONSIVENESS is what you do want to hear from your web designer if you are thinking of creating a new site or redesigning or refreshing your current look. This means that your site will automatically adjust based on the size of screen that the viewer is using. It makes for a great experience for anyone using not only a smart phone, but a tablet as well. All of the sites I build are Responsive from the beginning!
TESTING is another big thing when it comes to Responsive design. Just because someone says responsive is built into what they do, be sure they are testing it on all platforms to ensure a uniform experience on ALL types of devices. This requires the designer/developer to do a little extra work, however, it is worth it to know that your site is compatible for all users.
Google now docks sites that are not Responsive and does not give them priority when it comes to user searches.
>> If you site is 3-5 years old and you have not updated the design or the platform you are using, chances are your site is outdated and could be doing MORE for you than it is currently! In general, I recommend that people redesign their site every 2-3 years to keep up with industry standards in design and development.