Accessible websites are the new sexy! Your website needs to be easily viewable across multiple platforms in 2018 (and beyond). Digital marketing is all about visibility, winning clicks, and generating traffic to your website. Mobile-friendly websites are a MUST, as mobile phones are the #1 device used to conduct internet searches and browse websites. So what exactly is responsive web design? Responsive design is the method of developing a website that responds to a user’s device (phone, tablet, desktop), digital behavior, and preferences. Websites need to load quickly without any content cut-offs or sizing issues. Users need an optimal experience regardless of what device they are using. The Get The Clicks web design experts can help facilitate the process of building a responsive website of your very own!
Web design needs to look good on all devices and automatically adjust to fit each screen. To achieve this, page content needs to be resized and moved around to look good on any size screen. No matter the device, a website needs to be user friendly and easily navigable. Responsive web design goes beyond accommodating to screen size and readjusting content; there are many layers to explore.
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- Resolution Adjustments. Screen resolutions and orientations vary greatly, depending on the device a user chooses to operate (spoiler alert: there are hundreds of possibilities). With constant technological updates come new screen sizes, functions, orientations (landscape, portrait, square) and colors. Not to mention a mobile-friendly webpage must be able to instantly change from landscape to portrait in the flash of a second.How can web design stay current and responsive when the lay of the land is constantly changing? Think of web design like bamboo, it needs to be strong yet flexible. You need solid and effective design options, but you also want to cater to users’ needs.
- There may be hundreds of different screen sizes, but they can be broadly categorized to allow flexibility in design.
- Nowadays, all content has the ability to be easily adaptable. Images can be instantly readjusted, and layouts can be way more flexible than ever before. With advancements in technology come advancements in solutions.
- Fluid grids, fluid images, and smart mark-up help to control image portions according to the device. These techniques ensure content and images scale with the layout, which brings us to…
- Versatile Images. There are a variety of approaches to make sure images are resized for compatibility with each different device. If an original image is meant for a larger device, it could slow the page speed and take up space.Images need to be in proportion to the page background and screen size. For instance, if a screen is wider than 480 pixels, a larger resolution image will load. Devices with smaller screens do not need to download a larger resolution image, so the smaller resolution image will load. This technique is highly beneficial in saving bandwidth and loading time.
- Custom Layout. Let’s Go Between the Sheets!The style sheets! For extreme size changes, you probably want to change the layout entirely via a separate style sheet or CSS media query. Luckily, this is not complicated and the majority of styles can stay the same. For instance, if our default style sheet created layout resizing issues, we could shift to a new style sheet. The new style sheet would transfer everything from the default, but simply redefine the structure of the layout.
Responsive web design shows no signs of slowing down, as more users and devices are being added on a steady basis. Both businesses and users benefit from responsive web design in several different ways.
Keep Traffic Flowing.
Over half of website traffic comes via mobile devices, so it’s crucial to have a website with the capability of automatically adjusting to fit a smaller screen. If the website moves too slowly, has distorted images, or offers a poor user experience potential customers will go elsewhere. Responsive design needs to offer versatility.
Lower Development Costs.
Sure, you can pay to create a desktop website and a mobile-friendly version, but you will be losing time and money in doing so. Who wants to do that? Creating one responsive website is more convenient for your business, and convenience is super cool nowadays. You will also save down the road, as you will only need to pay maintenance and configuration costs for one site.
Low Maintenance: A Desirable Trait.
Managing a desktop website and its mobile-friendly version requires more testing and technical support. Luckily, the tests for responsive websites ensure the layout is optimal for any size screen. If you insist on operating with both a desktop and mobile website, prepare for two separate digital content strategies, two administrative interfaces, and two separate designs. If that sounds complicated, it’s because it is. A responsive website is like a good pair of jeggings: one size fits all. When you devote less time and money to website maintenance, you can focus on bigger things, like creating digital marketing strategies and building strong content.
Move it, Move it!
Studies have shown mobile webpages taking over 3 seconds to load will quickly be abandoned by users. Users have no patience for a poor website experience, and will jump to another site that loads faster. If your website has slow speed, distorted images, or is not easily navigable, users will quickly grow frustrated and find what they are looking for elsewhere. Your website needs to be developed for smartphones and tablets to ensure a steady flow of traffic to your page. Keeping the user engaged means they will spend more time exploring your website. You want to convert new customers, not drive them to your competitor.
If you thought your high school’s senior superlative competition was fierce, just you wait. A few years ago, Google released a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. This update was huge for businesses of all sizes, all over the world. With the element of mobile-friendly design as a ranking signal, SEO was greatly impacted. The best way to ensure your website makes the grade is to take Google’s handy Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. The test analyzes your page and provides you with a full usability report. If your mobile-friendly website does not pass the test, you will be penalized and your rank may suffer. It is nearly impossible to rank in the top few positions for competitive search terms if your site is not responsive and does not pass the mobile test. You can visit the Free Tools page on our website for a direct link to the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.
Reporting for Duty.
Google Analytics accommodates to responsive websites by simplifying reports, enabling you to see how your website is performing across different devices. When you know where your traffic is coming from and how users interact with your website, you can make informed decisions for a more optimal user experience. If you have multiple versions of your website, it can greatly complicate the analytics.
A responsive website directly affects website traffic, conversion rates, and ROI. You want to be visible and stay visible! The advantages of responsive web design are just getting started. As the tactics change, so will the benefits. You want your website to be engaging and presentable no matter what size screen it is viewed on.