Nearly 59% of website traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices. This makes it important that your website is optimized to make it look good on mobile devices. Not doing so can be costly as it can make users leave your website. With most people accessing websites through their phones, it is vital that you create a mobile-friendly website.
This is where responsive web design can help you. When you create a website, it needs to display properly whatever the device used to access it is. Responsive design allows your website to respond based on the device used for access.
What is Responsive Web Design?
In responsive web design, the website responds to a user based on the device used, screen size, and orientation. This ensures a single website can be designed that can be accessed on any device. In the past, different websites would be designed for mobiles. This is complicated, expensive, and time-consuming. With responsive web design, a single website can be designed. The website would look the same whether it is viewed on a laptop, mobile, or tablet.
Why use a responsive web design?
When you create a responsive website, it adjusts to the screen on which it is viewed. If you open the website on a mobile phone, it changes its appearance. This ensures a user doesn’t have to zoom the page or scroll to see hidden content. The website’s layout changes according to the device used. This provides a better experience for users.
There are other reasons that explain why it is helpful to use responsive web design while creating your website:
- It is less time-consuming and less expensive than creating different websites for desktop and mobile.
- There is a single website to be maintained and updated. Once you update the main website, the updates would be correctly visible irrespective of the device you view it in.
- A single site makes it easy for search engines to find you.
- Google’s SEO policies prefer websites that are mobile-friendly. Not doing so can lower your search engine rankings.
- Responsive websites load faster than other websites and this is a great benefit.
- All pages can be easily accessed with no problems in display.
- It helps in increasing the UX or user experience for your website. When your website has a better UX, then you can expect it to get a better rank on Google. This will help you increase your traffic.
- Your visitors will like your website since it is easy to access. This can help you increase traffic, which in turn can lead to potential increase in customers.
Creating a responsive website
If you are creating a new website, then make it responsive right at the time of creation. Use responsive web design to create the website, so it helps you get a better UX. If you already have a website, then you convert it to a responsive website by adding code to it. If you are using a WordPress website then you need to check if the theme you are using is responsive. Using a responsive theme will allow you to make your WordPress site a responsive one.
Some of the techniques to be used while carrying out responsive web design include:
- You need to use the meta viewport tag in the document’s head. This instruction tells the page to match the screen’s width. It makes use of device-independent pixels, so the page would look the same on any device.
- Images can be changed to prevent stretching when the screen is changed. Setting the maximum width to 100% ensures your images, stock photos, and illustrations are not distorted.
- Instead of numerical values for the width, percentages need to be used. This will ensure the column is a percent of the container. This ensures the screen changes instead of forcing the user to scroll horizontally.
- One of the key element of responsive web design is using flexible grids. There are techniques like flexbox, multicol, and grid layout that you can use to ensure the best layout.
- CSS media queries can be used to ensure the site is responsive. These are essentially filters that can be used for CSS styles.
- While creating a responsive design, you need to consider the use of touchscreens. It is important to ensure buttons and menu options can be touched using a finger. Care should be taken so that the button does not become too small, making it difficult to access.
- Once the changes are implemented, the site needs to be tested on different devices. This will verify its functionality.