Responsive Web Design For Non-technical Business Owners
These days there are so many different devices (i.e. desktop monitor, laptop, Ipad, mobile phone etc.) that can be used to browse the internet – not to mention all the different makes and brands of devices. In the past a website simply needed to look great on a “normal” computer, now it is much more complicated. We cannot create an entire new website for each device and screen resolution. There must be only one website that is designed to cater for whatever screen it appears on and this is where responsive web design comes in.
Responsive web design – the what
The important factors that are considered in responsive web design are: platform, screen size and orientation.
Responsive web design involves designing a web page so that it “responds to” or resizes itself according to the type of device that you are using to view it, the screen size and the screen orientation. As you can see below, this website looks good on several different devices. That is what we are after.
As one switches from, for example, iPad to mobile phone, the website should automatically adjust sizing and orientation to suit the screen. With responsive web design, a site’s layout changes to accommodate the screen size of device on which is being viewed. For example: if you have a wide screen desktop monitor, your website can have a number of columns of data across the screen. When this website is viewed on a mobile phone which has a much smaller width, the same data will be presented in a single column with images, text and links sized properly for the use on a smaller display.
Responsive web design – the why
What happens if your website has not been designed to cater for responsiveness? Then this is the type of problem you could run into – a website that is not mobile friendly.:
And we all know how cumbersome it is to navigate one of those tiny-looking websites; adjusting its size, scrolling up and down, back and forth, trying click on a menu item. Or you may even find that parts of your website are not displayed correctly.
Fact is, if your website is difficult to use, clients won’t want to spend much time on it. And time-spent-on-website is an important factor in obtaining good leads. Don’t let it be easy to rather browse a competitor’s site than to stumble around yours. People are quick to click away from sites that are a struggle to use. Your valuable content which you have been creating for increased conversions is left untouched.
Another “why” is the consideration of the long-term maintenance of the website. Every day new devices, software and updates are becoming available. If you have a responsive website, then you don’t need to worry about developing an entire new website to cater for the technology-upgrades.
And, thirdly, on a more technological note, having a responsive web design helps you with your search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves improving your website so that the search engines (such as Google) increase its rating and rank it higher in the list of results when a person searches for information in your industry. The higher your website is on the list of results, the more visitors you will get. When it comes to rankings, the search engines are not only interested in the content of your website, but also how user-friendly it is – and a website with a responsive web design is it.
It is no secret that the use of mobile devices to access the internet is on the increase. More and more mobile users are turning to their devices for online browsing, shopping and social media interactions. You need to be there and you need to ensure that your website and communications are responsive
and easy for people to interact with.
Responsive web design – the how
We don’t need to go into the nitty-gritty, but it is something you must discuss with your website designer.
An important check to make on a regular basis is how your website looks on different devices. Check it on your desk-top monitor, Ipad, different types of phones etc. Ensure that your website displays correctly on any new devices that come onto the market.
If there are any problems with the view, get it sorted out as soon as possible. You don’t want to lose potential clients from even one lead source.