Significance of responsive design for websites

Responsive web design has become the standard for websites that want to get the most out of their Web traffic. Every year the amount of searches and Internet use that is done on mobile devices has steadily climbed. Now phone and tablet Internet searches make up more than half of all Web browsing. That means that if you want your website to attract new readers, customers and clients your site needs to instantly adapt to being viewed on a huge variety of devices. And if you have an E-commerce site that site needs to be functional on a wide variety of devices or else you are losing out on a lot of potential business. It’s time for websites to adapt to the changing way that consumers are using the Internet.

Why is Responsive Web Design Important in 2018?

The importance of responsive web design in 2018 can’t be overstated. If you don’t have a responsive website for your business you are going to get left behind. The Internet has been changing over the last few years to adapt to the many new ways that people can browse the Internet and responsive design is the only way to make sure that people can see your website the way you want it to look on any device that exists now or will exist in the future.
If you’re wondering what is a responsive website you’re not alone. A lot of business owners that have had websites for years haven’t really kept up with the changing technology or the changing terminology of the Internet. You have seen designers advertising responsive website design without really understanding what responsive website design is. Let’s look a little more in-depth at responsive web design and why it’s so important for businesses in 2018 and going forward.

What Is Responsive Web Design?

When businesses first started creating websites they created mostly static sites that were designed to look good on a desktop or laptop screen. That’s because before everyone had a smartphone the only way to browse the Web was on a desktop or a laptop computer. But when Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 it changed everything. The touch interface and the ability to browse the Web from a handheld device started the change in design to responsive website design.

When people first started browsing the Web on their phones most of the websites looked terrible. That’s because the design of those sites was fixed. The screen size was fixed and so were the images. So when people looked at the site on their phones images would be cut off and the site wouldn’t load properly. The sites looked terrible.

As smartphone caught on and more and more of them were created it was clear that websites had to change in order to keep up with the technology. Websites needed to be flexible enough to change their appearance depending on the specifications of the devices that were being used to view them. Since the types of devices used were constantly changing there was a need to constantly upgrade a website in order to keep pace with the new devices that were being developed.

A New Foundation

Two new website foundations were developed that would allow websites to change appearance depending on how they were being viewed. These platforms now are the basis of all website design. These responsive design platforms are coded to change the size of the screen, the direction of the text, and the size of the images and media on a website to fit whatever device is being used to view them.

That’s why you can view a responsive website and it looks the same on your desktop, your laptop, your phone and your tablet. The website automatically adjusts itself to look good based on the device that the user is viewing it on. These platforms allow website owners to incorporate multimedia elements into their pages that will automatically resize themselves in order to fit phones or tablets as well as computers. And these platforms are what make it possible for graphics-heavy websites like e-commerce sites to run smoothly and load fast on any device.

Responsive Web Design Characteristics

There are three main responsive web design features that make a website responsive and capable of adjusting itself to different devices. If you want to revamp your website and make sure that your website is responsive a web design agency can implement responsive web design for you. Those features are fluid grids, media queries, and flexible images and text. These responsive web design features are the core of every responsive website and they are essential for any website these days.

Flexible Grids

Flexible grids are the backbone of responsive web design. This is the design element that allows the screen to resize itself based on the device that it is being used on. The website will intuitively adjust all the elements on the page to fit into a smaller, narrower, or wider screen depending on whether the person is looking at the site on a phone, tablet, or large desktop screen. Building a website with flexible grids is an absolute must for any business that wants to be able to attract traffic from people browsing the Web on their phones and tablets.

Media Queries

Media queries are what resize the other elements on the page to fit into the screen size that is being used to view the page. When a responsive website is viewed on a large screen the text, spacing, and other elements on the page adjust to the increased size and change to fill the space of the screen. And when someone using a mobile phone looks at the same website it will adjust down to fit onto the screen of the phone.

A great example of how media queries work is something you’re already familiar with. When you click on the resize command on your web browser and the browser gets smaller or larger that is done by media queries. That same command structure built into a responsive website design creates a custom sized web page interface for each person that is viewing it based on the device they are using to view it.

Flexible Images

The last responsive web design element is flexible images. Images are critically important to today’s websites. Consumers expect high-quality images that will look great on different kinds of devices with different optimization settings. In the past, each image on a website had to be sized to a static size in order to be placed on the website. This is why so often images would look crooked, stretched, pixelated or cut off when people viewed them on devices with different screen sizes.

Flexible images automatically scale up or scale down the photos on the page so that they will look the way they are supposed to on different size screens. Flexible images are the most important part of an E-commerce website these days because consumers have to be able to see attractive pictures of the products that are for sale or they won’t want to buy them. Since so much web shopping is now done by phone and tablet having a responsive website with flexible images is the only way that E-commerce sites can get consumers to buy their products.

Responsive web design also includes multimedia presentations like galleries, sliders, and the ability to embed videos with flexible coding that will resize the media presentation. Sites that offer online videos and photo galleries need the flexibility to add these elements to their site without the multimedia slowing down the pace at which the site loads. This is very important for E-commerce sites that have more than one photo of a product. If a photo takes too long to load or slows down the loading of a page it is a big turn off for consumers. The flexible foundations of responsive web design can be applied to multimedia elements with the right coding so that slideshows, photo galleries, and videos don’t slow down the page and are easily visible.

The Future of E-commerce

When web designers today talk about web design they are talking about responsive web design even if they don’t specifically say responsive web design. It’s a given in the industry that all new web design has to responsive. The number of consumers who use their phones and tablets for web browsing increases every year and as phones and tablets become more advanced with better processing capabilities soon more people will use their phones to shop than their computers.

Technology is being integrated into everyday life as a seamless part of the way that people live. People are using their phones more and also using interactive artificial intelligence. And website design has to keep pace with these trends in order to continue to attract browsers. If you haven’t upgraded your business website in a long time you should make sure that your site has a responsive design and is ready to carry your business forward into the future.