The know how for this topic has to flow from the basic understanding of what exactly is responsive design. It basically encompasses design principles and technologies that make a webpage look good across all platforms (tablets, desktops, mobiles and now, wearable devices).
It is not less known today how the major Ecommerce players have shifted to all mobile systems and Emails that earlier used to say that they might not look good on mobile phones have now started conversing vice versa. So, gone are the days really when you could build a desktop friendly website and delay your mobile strategy. Since responsive design in itself is a fairly technical and lengthy topic, I will not enter into the details of all that.
In a nutshell, you could look at responsive design and pages like a fluid that takes shape as per the device and platform. Mobile and desktop users are served the same URL and content but laid out differently depending on the screen size and type of device.
Talking of Pros and Cons:
Pros: 1. No need for separate codes: Without the need to write separate codes for a mobile version of the website, the work load of the developer decreases and so does the maintenance cost and overhead.
2. More in less: With the same implementation of a website, it could be loaded on and viewed the same way on multiple devices. So, the ability to be used on multiple devices in the same way is a huge advantage.
3. Content Sharing: Developers and marketers need not worry about how the content or page share link will work- whether a link of the mobile version of the website (like m.facebook.com) will actually be shared on the user’s social media profile or the one that opens fine on desktop. Responsive design does away with such complications in the sense that it enables sharing and saving easily.
4. Overhead at large: Space overhead, update overhead and content change overhead is all reduced with responsive design. Updates at one place are reflected on all devices uniformly. Things like floating content also behaves fine on mobile devices with updates on desktops.
5. User Satisfaction: Needless to say users are more satisfied and relieved today to use your services when you give them the same experience on mobile devices as desktops. Most of the internet using population today is roaming on a mobile, tablet or some smart wearable. In order to make your business look good, you have to have your customer appreciate the time and effort you have put in to make your webpages look good.
1. Testing:Although analytics is possible and easy today for mobile platforms but it is so only in the case of referrals and visitors. User experience and debugging for different devices often becomes a task. For example why does certain content appear in a particular way when you want it to actually look like something else.
2. No complete control: However still, companies often want some layout for content on a desktop and mobile differently. All this is possible but the burden lies on the developer to make it possible.
3. Time and expertise: To efficiently design and create responsive pages, it needs an expert developer and more time than usual because all screen sizes need to be kept in mind while designing such pages.