Understanding Responsive Web Design and Its Elements

Responsive Web Design, SEO, user experience, CSS,
Responsive web design provides a seamless user experience across all devices – from smartphones, tablets, and laptops. By eliminating the need for separate mobile sites and re-directs that take too long to load, responsive design saves costs while boosting your SEO.

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When you develop a website for your business or as a freelancer, you want to ensure that it can deliver the best experience to users. It doesn’t matter which device your clients are using. Whether they are on a desktop, laptop, tablet, smart TV, or phone, the content should seamlessly load to match the size of the screen size.

Years ago, people only accessed the internet on a desktop computer. In our digital age, there are more choices than ever before. People can easily access the internet on their phone, tablet, and smartwatch. Even though the design of your website might look slightly different, it essentially should be adaptable.

Why Should You Use Responsive Web Design?
It is in your best interest to make your website adaptable and responsive. After all, your website is an extension of your business. The more user-friendly it is, the more customers would like to return to it. If a website took a minute to load or didn’t appear properly on your mobile device, would you be inclined to revisit it? Not at all. The same is true of your customers.

A responsive and mobile-friendly website ranks higher on Google’s search engine algorithms. This means that more people can access it. Technically, responsive web design works through Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) using different settings and style properties depending on the screen size, orientation, resolution, colour capability, and other characteristics. You can also check Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your website is mobile-friendly.

Benefits of Responsive Web Design
Implementing responsive web design has several benefits. In our day and age, it is even imperative. Consider a few benefits.

Cost Effective: Maintaining separate websites for mobile and non-mobile audiences is expensive. Responsive web design saves money by eliminating the cost of paying for a separate mobile site.

Flexible: When you have one website with responsive design, you can make changes efficiently. You don’t need to worry about making changes on two separate websites.

Eliminates Redirects: When designing a website for multiple devices, you need to use redirects to send the user to the appropriate version of the web page. When there are no redirects, the website can be quickly accessed.

Optimizes SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boosts your ranking on search engine results. When your website is optimized for different devices and is responsive, it will rank higher on search engine results. This makes customers find your website faster.

How to Implement Responsive Design
With a few simple tweaks, you can make your website mobile friendly. Consider a few design elements you can include to make the necessary changes.

Add a Grid
When designing your website, include grids. Years ago, websites were based on pixels. Grids allow you to control the elements of your website proportionally to change the size of texts and images to respond to different screens.

Include Touchscreen Features
Today even laptops have touchscreen capabilities. This makes it imperative to design your website with both touchscreen and mouse capability. If you have a website with a drop-down menu, make it larger to allow users to scroll. You can also add a call to action (CTA), logos, and images to make your website user-friendly and clickable.

Consider Images
The size of your images can be tricky; that’s why you must create guidelines in your CSS to determine how images are displayed on different screens.

Embrace Responsive Design
Responsive web design isn’t a trend but a long-term strategy you must invest in. By investing in responsive website design, you will gain far more than you could ever lose. The benefits are innumerable. More importantly, you do not need to worry that another new technology will make your website outdated.

By ignoring responsive web design, you risk losing clients, and you will not be able to reach most of your potential target audience. Many forward-thinking businesses have already implemented responsive web design to increase their sales and online presence, and so can you!

David Messiha | Contributing Writer

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