What is responsive web design?
If you have to ask that question, your website is in trouble.
Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design practice meant to help you craft sites that offer the best possible viewing experience – on every device, platform, and browser, no matter what their size.
The objective is to minimize the amount of zooming, pinching and scrolling; to present a consistent viewing experience on every device; to have the same site on every device; and to be as good on the mobile web as it is on the regular web.
Google Recommends It
Responsive web design can make or break your site in the search engine results pages. Since Google doesn’t want their visitors having to expend too much effort or get too terribly annoyed on the websites they click on from their search results pages, they have started to penalize sites that don’t have responsive web design. Yes, that’s right. Your site may not ranking as high in the search engines right now if it’s not responsive.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
In a nutshell, responsive web design is comprised of four key elements.
- Single URL
- Single Content
- One Code
- CSS3 Media Queries to change the page size according to the screen viewing it
A single site displays the same content in the same way on multiple devices.
From 2009 to 20015 (just six short years), the number of mobile Internet users more than doubled. The number shot from 800 million to 1.9 billion. From 2009 to 2015, the number of desktop Internet users went up slightly, form 1.4 billion to 1.6 billion.
Mobile devices will probably overtake desktop computers as the dominant global Internet platform in the future. This means that every single webmaster, small business owner, major corporations has to jump on board to the responsive web design paradigm – or their SEO, promotional, marketing, and sales efforts are going to suffer.
A site crafted with RWD will adapt the page design to what it is being viewed on by using flexible images, fluid, proportion-based grids, and CSS3 media queries. If you don’t know what any of this means, don’t worry about it. You don’t actually have to know how it works to hire a web designer that knows how to do responsive web design. A web designer that can do it will usually advertise himself as being able to do “responsive web design”.
Your site has to have a consistent look and the same content across smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and desktops – that’s what consumers expect!
What are the Advantages of Responsive Web Design?
- Increase your reach across tablets and mobile devices
- Save cost and time on site management
- Save cost and time on mobile site development
- Up your rank in the search engines
- Consolidate your reporting and analytics under one roof
- Don’t spend time promoting two or three different sites
- Increase conversion and sale rates
We’re living in a world where smartphones and tablets are starting to rule. More people are searching via smartphones, tablets, and mobile phones than ever before.
If you know a lot of web designers and developers, then you probably already know about “responsive web design”, and you also know that it’s the most popular trend right now. Big brands have put a new focus on designing websites that look great on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones while also looking great on a desktop – all without changing the content.
Responsive web design offers easier management of content.
CSS3 Media Queries let websites have the same content and HTML, but still show up differently on smartphones versus tablets versus desktop computer browsers.
Making use of CSS3 media queries cutes down the time it takes to create and customize websites to meet mobile dimensions and standards. Instead of having to create a whole website from scratch (for mobile devices), the current content is just styled to fit mobile browsers of different sizes.
With a design that is responsive, you have just a single set of content to manage instead of having several pages on several domains, making it easier to manage the content on your website.
Author Bio – Dan Mill works for Livecity, which offers free website builder tools to create professional looking websites in minutes.