Is Responsive Web Design Good For Performance

Myths are powerful things. They certainly have the ability to destroy—we’ve seen that many times. But put the right spin on a myth and you can use it to build up; to create something new and better.

Responsive design just can’t seem to shake the rumor that it’s bad for performance. It’s very frequently spouted as a downside of the technique—a reason why you may not want to pursue responsive design for a project.

Just to be clear where I stand on this: I don’t agree. I don’t agree because I’ve built responsive sites that performed well and because I’ve seen many others who have done the same. I don’t agree because I’ve looked at heavy and slow responsive sites and seen how fixable those issues are. I don’t agree because I’ve seen many non-responsive sites that are just as heavy and slow.

Bad performance stems from a lack of attention and commitment performance within an organization—not from whether or not the site is responsive. Saying responsive design is bad for performance is the same as saying optimizing for touch is bad for performance. It doesn’t make much sense because you can’t expect to do either in isolation and create a good overall experience.

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