Can you offer your customers a fully interactive experience on their mobile phones as well as on their computers?
Mobile Internet usage continues to rise each year. Over 77% of the US population access sites using their smartphones. Most use several devices like desktop computers, laptops, and tablets to browse and shop online.
Trying to accommodate all of those web browsers and screen sizes is a difficult task. Unless your site includes responsive web design.
This article explains the importance of responsive website design. And how a flexible layout is vital for your online presence.
Discover the principles behind responsive design and the impact they can have on visitor traffic. Learn about SEO and how cascading style sheets can improve your user experience (UX).
Read on to see how a responsive site can impact your bottom line by catering to the most amount of people.
Table of Contents
What Is Responsive Website Design?
Have you ever visited a website where you need to pinch and zoom to read the content?
These old-style web designs ignore the size of the screen, the platform, and the orientation. They produce the same layout whether the screen is 5 inches or 25 inches. This is a red flag that the site is out-of-date and requires a redesign.
Responsive website design has revolutionized the Internet by accommodating all users’ needs. It doesn’t matter what the device is, the person can now view content that’s best suited for their platform.
For example, a site stretches wide for an iMac but condenses to a smaller layout on an iPhone. Android tablet users can view full-size images while on a Samsung Galaxy those graphics will shrink to fit.
Responsive design acts as the key to this flexibility.
Why Should I Care About Screen Sizes and Web Browsers?
You should care about responsive design because Google cares. As the company holds a 92% share of the search engine market, we need to listen to their advice.
Six years ago Google rolled out the ‘mobile friendly’ update. It placed mobile design as a critical factor to how it ranked websites in Google Search.
Sites that kept the old style of fitting everything onto the screen saw a drop in performance. Those that incorporated responsive website design faired better.
Google aims to provide the best UX possible to its users.
It believes that your site should automatically change to present information in the best way. By creating layouts for a variety of screen sizes your visitors can consume content however they want.
Is My Existing Website Responsive?
How can you be sure if your website is responsive? Does it mean having to test each page on dozens of devices? Surely, there’s an easier way.
The good news is that there are lots of free tools available that will test all the pages on your site.
Google offers a mobile-friendly test tool that analyses a URL. It gives a simple answer to whether the page is responsive or not and links to additional reports.
Google Search Console offers more comprehensive feedback.
Log in and choose your property/website and check for errors highlighted in red. One such finding is that the text is too small to read. Or that certain elements are too close together.
Use these findings to build a strategy on how to improve your website’s performance.
Flexible Web Design Solutions
Flexible Grid Layouts
Most website structures include:
- Page content
Squeezing those components into a small screen size or a viewport is difficult. A user should never have to scroll horizontally to view content. Neither should they be bombarded with too much information.
A flexible grid system places elements in a vertical pattern depending on their size.
Instead of using pixels to measure the screen, responsive sites use % or em values. That means the content will fit the container and the other objects will flow around it.
Loading large files is a no-no on mobile devices.
That’s especially true for sites that push large images instead of smaller optimized versions. Thankfully, popular CMS sites like WordPress offer this facility by default.
Dynamic cropping using cascading style sheets (CSS) also helps with responsive design. This process hides unneeded image content so text and useful information appear instead.
Cascading Style Sheets and Media Queries
CSS acts as a template that instructs web browsers on how to display content on the page. Instead of using one CSS file, you can select the right code that matches the user’s device.
This process uses media queries or pieces of logic that ask what the screen size is. Only the correct styles appear depending on the created rules. For example:
<link rel=”stylesheet” media=”(max-device-width: 330px)” href=”mobile-site.css” />
The content of mobile-site.css will load only if the screen size is less than or equal to 330px wide. That file is optimized for a smaller device so it will download more quickly too.
Will a Responsive Site Improve My Bottom Line?
Anything that will attract a targeted audience to your website and keep them there, is worthwhile.
Responsive web design is here to stay. It can accommodate any layout and will scale along with your online requirements.
However, it will take more than adding a few lines of code to optimize your online presence. It’s best to talk to the experts who will guide you on the right digital path moving forward.
Responsive Website Design With BrashBerry
Responsive website design is a must-have feature for every modern website.
Google actively ranks sites by determining if they work well on mobile phones. If users need to pinch and zoom to view content then they won’t find you. Neither will they stay.
Thankfully, BrashBerry offers a fully responsive web design service that will make your visitors say Wow!
We understand that users form an opinion about your company within 0.5 seconds of entering your site. That’s why our designs work to make the best impression. Not only do they look great but they’re quick and load on any screen size.
Reach out to our design team today and discover how BrashBerry can help you to market your business in the best way.