The latest technical buzzword is responsive design and unless you’re a designer or developer chance are you have no idea what that means. However if you have a website this is an important concept you need to know.
In the past, many websites were created using HTML and images to create fixed size pages that were viewed predominately on desktop computers or laptops. As technology changed there was a need to create websites that scaled up or down depending upon what you were viewing them on.
In response to the changing sizes, designers and developers started using stylesheets that altered the look of the website depending upon the device you are using to view it. Many times developers created mobile sites as separate sites that required separate content and search engine optimization, which could get rather expensive.
That’s where Responsive Design started to come into play. Responsive design is basically fancy speak for a website that scales up or down depending upon whether you are using a smartphone, tablet, netbook and computer to view it. It responds to whether you turn the device horizontally or vertically. Unlike other approaches, responsive design gives a similar experience on all devices and users don’t have to conform to a site’s resolution. The site uses the same content and web address so there isn’t a need for additional optimization.
So why should care? You should care because more than 44% of U.S. adults will use their smartphones to go online. Also in 2012 mobile web use will exceed desktop use, according to Google. Therefore if your website doesn’t work or display well on mobile devices you’re losing out on a large customer base. In addition, if you use responsive design you will not have the additional costs associated with developing, maintaining and optimizing multiple sites.
How do I know if my website is responsive? Changes are if your site wasn’t built in the last few years, it isn’t responsive. Usually you can tell by taking the corner of your web page and adjusting the size up or down. If everything scales as you make the size smaller or larger it is most likely a responsive website.
To learn more about responsive design or would like a website evaluation, call Tiny Stars Creative today at 484.854.1234.