What is ‘Responsive Web Design’?

Chances are, if you’re a business owner or even if you’re not, you’ve probably received an email or twenty telling you how your website is non-responsive and the sender can fix that for you for a small fee. You may have even been told by a friend of yours that your website doesn’t work on their fancy new iPhone. But what does any of this mean and what should you be doing about if it, if anything?

Simply put, a responsive website will ‘respond’ to the screen size it is being viewed on.

Gone are the days when your web designer would build two websites for you – one for viewing on a computer and another for viewing on a mobile device like a smart phone. While this was standard procedure for a period, it involved double the amount of work for everyone involved. This is where a relatively new technique, ‘responsive web design’, was born.

A responsive website is built only once and instead, responds to the screen size it is being viewed on. It does this by gaining the dimensions of the screen being used from the browser and adapting the web page layout to suit. This means that the same content will be viewed across all screen sizes but probably in a different way.

Responsive Web Design

The skill in good responsive design is ensuring that the critical information on any web page is easily viewable without distraction or unnecessary zooming or scrolling. This can and often does mean removing certain less important design features from smaller screens e.g. image sliders/carousels.

So why is responsive design so important?

Given that the amount of people browsing the internet on a mobile device is set to overtake browsing on a computer in 2014, if your website is under-performing on a mobile device, you are simply losing customers. A lot of them.

An enjoyable web experience is alleged to leave a user 67% more likely to buy your product or services.

So if your website is not responsive, what should you do? Well this is obviously a very important issue that must be raised with your web designer straight away. If, like so many other businesses we speak to, you had your website built by someone you are no longer in contact with/has disappeared off the face of the earth then simply contact us and we will be happy to help!

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