Creating a web presence is just as crucial to your business’ success as traditional brand building tactics. If you are just starting a website, or planning a redesign, it is critical you focus on how your customers will be accessing your website.
It is important to consider accepted best practice when it comes to things like layout and navigation, but it is even more important to ensure your site is effective on any device your users may access it from. The most modern way to achieve cross-device compatibility is responsive web design. Responsive web design addresses the issue of rendering websites on mobile devices, without having to serve separate versions for different screens. In short, your website shines no matter what device your clients are using.
Responsive web design will fluidly adapt the layout of the website to the viewing environment by using scalable images and content that fit within a proportion-based grid.
When building a responsive website, you should also pay attention to load times since the page’s code will contain all of the elements and styling for both mobile and desktop devices. If you have a well-developed responsive design, there will be no worries and your customers will connect with you quickly.
Your ultimate goal for your website should be to always make sure it looks and functions its best at any resolution and on any device. It all starts with the plan behind your design. To drive your brand and build your audience your website must have a design that stands out from the rest and performs with the best.
To build a better website, check out the options through BCI Media Services or contact us today at 1-800-558-7024.
Take a Deeper Dive into Responsive Design
Responsive design has proven to be a popular method to build multi-device sites as it’s easier for designers to change the HTML / CSS coding and is much less dependent on the back end on which the website was built. Responsive design also allows designers to implement new features without having to add the code in multiple places, covering each device size.
The grid that responsive design is built on requires elements to be sized in relative units like percentages, rather than in absolute units like pixels. This concept is where the website will split the content into rows and columns with clear breakpoints to determine where a new row begins and will fluidly change and respond to fit any screen or device size. CSS3 media queries make this possible by allowing the page to use different CSS styling rules based on characteristics of the device, such as the viewport width and if the device is in portrait or landscape orientation.
Load times can tend to get out of hand quickly with responsive design as all of the styling rules for each device size are required to load. Be sure you’re not mixing a lot of hidden and visible elements for each media query as all of the hidden elements will still need to be downloaded. If your site is bloated with CSS files it will also take longer to download. While building your site, you should plan out your CSS structure ahead of time and only load the necessary CSS files on the pages that need it. It doesn’t matter if your customers are using a desktop, smartphone, or tablet, speed is a deciding factor in if customers will stick around. It also determines if they come back again, which can improve sales.
As popular as responsive web design has become, it is still not a solution for more complicated websites where a grid-system wouldn’t work. Your design elements need to be carefully thought out to ensure a fluid response. It is a difficult task to get complex layouts to display correctly using the same HTML code on a 320 pixel viewport width smartphone all the way up to a standard 1200 pixel desktop and even 4K+ resolutions. In cases like this an adaptive web design might be a better option, where the website only sends what’s necessary for the specific device it is loaded on. However, this option requires more development and maintenance time.
Regardless as to which method you choose, your goal for your website should be to always make sure it looks and functions its best at any resolution and on any device without compromising load times.