Understanding Responsive Web Design as a Non-Developer

Responsive Design Layout Software Concept

As a non-developer, various terms and jargon fill the website-design world that can be confusing to an indoctrinated person. Of all the terms that are being used, responsive web design is one of the most common ones, most notably because it is vital in many aspects of web design and is the ongoing trend in this age! 

If someone told you that your website needs to be responsive, they are telling you the truth. A non-responsive website limits your website’s capabilities, hurting its performance in various ways.

With all of that said, what exactly is responsive web design? We will answer this question, and some other frequently asked questions to help you grasp the importance of this concept.

What is a responsive web design, and how does it work?

As the name implies, responsive web design is a design concept that allows a website to “respond” in accordance with the screen it is displayed on. It adapts its content, changing its size, layout, and more, to ensure that users visiting the website enjoy a pleasurable experience no matter the device. 

For example, a website that is displayed on a laptop screen will look a lot different than it would on a smartphone. Rather than displaying large images with plenty of buttons, the website may reduce the number of buttons available and further reduce the use of images on a smartphone. That way, everything fits properly on one screen without stuffing it excessively and ruining a user’s experience.

The main aspect of getting responsive web design to work is through the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) which helps dictate the website’s appearance depending on the size that the website is displayed in. Designs can also be made to adapt to other factors, like the orientation, resolution, and even colour that is being reproduced on the device.

How can I tell if my website is responsive?

The easiest way to tell if your website is responsive, short of checking on two different devices, of course, is to open up a web browser, such as Google Chrome. With Chrome open, you can access your developer tools (Ctrl+Shift+I) then change the perspective to various devices to see if the website adapts to them. If you see that it responds to the changes, then it is most likely responsive! 

We say “most likely” because there is another way your website can adapt to different screens, which is a method known as “adaptive design”. However, due to the significant advantages of responsive design, we will focus on this instead.

Why does my website need to be responsive?

There are many reasons why your website needs to be responsive. However, the biggest reason is that you want to ensure it is user-friendly no matter what type of device it is displayed on. Knowing that the majority of all internet activity is being conducted through mobile devices, you must optimise for this to assure a better user experience. Ensuring your website can respond to different screen sizes is the difference between a happy visitor and a frustrated one, after all.

That said, there is another reason you want to have a responsive website: you only have to stick to one! Previously, some businesses created multiple websites for different devices. While this may have worked, it did not bode well for them, especially in terms of SEO. Not only was it double the work, but SEO was not shared between the different websites.

Conclusion

Overall, responsive web design is one of the best designs you can ever have for your website. With it, you can cater to your audience no matter the device they are using, whether it be a desktop computer rocking a 30-inch monitor or a smartphone with only 5-inches of real estate. 

If your website is not responsive, now is the time to make some changes. If you do not have the ability or the resources to do it yourself, then we highly recommend outsourcing to professional web developers. They will ensure your website is perfectly responsive in every way, helping your site attract customers from various channels to grow your business even further.

Silicon Palm is a group of professional web developers in the Gold Coast, capable of creating stunning and responsive websites to help businesses capture the attention of their audience. If you need help creating a responsive web design, work with us today!

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