Responsive Web Design
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).
Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
Why Responsive Web Design?
1. Super Flexible screen resolutions and all devices
Fluid layouts are flexible. They resize with the browser window because width, margin and padding elements (even fonts and images) are specified with proportional values like percentages and ems. As the resolution changes, the layout adjusts proportionally. And all without a single media query.
This was when I had my “ah ha” moment for responsive design. If I had a layout based on proportional values, the fluid grid would do much of the heavy lifting I needed. My media queries wouldn’t have to include styles to, essentially, overwrite all of my width, margin and paddingvalues.
At the same time, I had an “uh oh” moment. Fluid grids require math to determine those proportional values. And I suck at math.
Fortunately, Ethan offered a formula for implementing fluid grids that looked simple enough (even for me):
target ÷ context = result
This formula takes the pixel-based width of an element on a page (the target) and divides it by the pixel-based width of its parent element (thecontext). The result becomes the proportional width for the target element.
It provides Better SEO
“Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.”
Having a uniform URL makes it easier for Google to crawl your site.
With responsive web design, you can reap the full benefits of mobile backlinks and shares.
Uniform URLs means you can better consolidate and evaluate your overall SEO strategies.
Responsive layout makes image optimization easier.
With fewer http requests, you’ll have fewer broken links.
Better user experience can result in decreased bounce rates.
2. User Friendly Environment
Responsive web design accommodates the busy professional during the day and the wide-awake college student needing access to your site anytime. No scrolling or resizing is needed for any visitor to access your website from their favorite device.
Responsive Web Design is about providing the optimal user experience irrespective of whether they use a desktop computer, a smartphone, a tablet or a smart-TV.
Responsive design makes your content easier to scroll on all platforms.
Its fluid grid allows for seamless resizing.
Less cluttered content makes reader engagement easier.
RWD loads faster (less http requests).
Consistency and familiarity across platforms enforces your brand identity.
It improves your business better.
More and more people are going mobile (28% of internet usage is now done on phones).
Responsive design is being championed as the next big thing and has been adopted by many big name companies.
It’s often cheaper in the long run than developing a mobile app.
Responsive design makes your company appear on the cutting edge of technological development.
Data suggests that most users prefer to read on the mobile web than on apps.
No need to go the drawing board when new tablets and phones hit the market.
Forbes recommends you go responsive.
3. Cost Friendly Web Design
Responsive web design enhances SEO efforts by having all your visitors directed to a single site no matter what they prefer to use as a device.One website costs less than two, and the savings can be substantial.
4. Google Recommended It
Now that you know why RWD is important, I’ll go into more detail about why RWD is important to Google. Google recommends that “webmasters follow the industry best practice of using web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices, using media queries to decide rendering on each device.”
To put this into more basic language, Google recommends the use of media queries, which form part of the backbone of RWD. Media queries allow websites to adapt to any screen size. So, a basic translation of this quotation is that Google believes it to be a best practice to use RWD.
Responsive web design is recommended by Google, it allows one website to provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes, and it also makes managing your SEO strategy easier. For these reasons, responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.
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