Responsive design is the newest method for displaying a single website across a range of different viewing devices, each with a screen with different dimensions. In fact, with the popularity of smart phones and tablet computers, such as the Apple iPhone and iPad, there are now over 150 different screen configurations. That made it almost impossible to get a website to display properly for a wide range of devices–until responsive design technology was introduced.
Responsive design offers a fluid solution that automatically reforms a web page to respond to the width of the viewing device. This is not a matter of shrinking the page down to a miniscule size to get it to fit a cell phone. All the page elements, such as menus and sidebars, morph into a new layout that makes it much easier to view the page. Everything is still there, but certain page elements are now easier to view and easier to work with. This is a one-site-fits-all website solution.
Watch the following video to see a responsive design site in action.
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Notice in the demo video that as the browser window narrows, the web page begins to flow and re-arrange itself. Image elements and text sizes do not begin to resize until the window is too small to display them properly–but they do re-form to display well as the device gets smaller. On this site we swap out different sized logos as the screen dimensions get smaller.
Benefits of Responsive Design
- One web site can be used for all viewing devices. There is no longer a need for additional mobile-only sites or multiple sites in order to present your company on multiple devices. You do not have to waste money building or maintaining mobile sites. A responsive design website is mobile-ready.
- WordPress is the ideal starting point for responsive design.
- Videos are not normally responsive, but can work well with WordPress with the right configuration.
- One website simplifies the tracking of your visitor statistics.
- Increases sales for users with mobile devices. When it is easier for users to view your web pages in a friendly manner, it is much easier to convert them to customers.
- Google recommends the use of responsive design. It is much easier for Google to spider one site and the site owner doesn’t have to develop additional content for multiple sites.
Limitations of Responsive Design
- Not all site designs can be converted to a fluid layout. Some complex layouts and graphically-intensive designs do not work well with this technology. These types of sites can be converted if the design is simplified.
- We cannot do special layouts for specific devices, but your web site should display in a user-friendly manner on all devices.