What do you mean by “Responsive Web Design” anyway?
Responsive Web Design is a method of creating websites that automatically adjust themselves to fit whatever size screen or browser window the end user is viewing it on. When using Responsive Web Design, text and photos resize themselves, menus change, and sections of the site rearrange themselves to fit. This is done by using grids that are not measured in pixels, but rather in a percentage of total width, and different CSS (formatting) settings for different types of devices, as detected by the website.
Why is this important?
People access the web today with many different types of devices, from traditional pc's and laptops, to smartphones, tablets, and soon, appliances. There is not a standard screen size or resolution to fit websites to. For example, let's look at the resolutions of some popular devices people use to browse the web:
- My Lcd screen - 1920x1080
- My laptop - 1280x1024
- iphone 5 - 1136x640
- ipad - 2048x1536
- ipad mini - 1024x768
Traditional monitors are now wider, but the same websites must work on cell phone screens without the end user having to squint or zoom in and out, regardless of size or orientation (portrait vs landscape). Not to mention, the difference in browsers themselves! A site must work in Chrome, Firefox, Safari as well as Internet Explorer.
According to Monetate in their Q4 2013 Ecommerce Quarterly Published in February 2014, accounting for smart phones and tablets, overall mobile usage of the web is 27%. This number is only going to go up.
What does this mean for my business?
Google likes it. Making Google happy means higher search rankings for you, which translates to more website hits, more phone calls, and more customers!
Customers like it. Research indicates that consumers are 67% more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly website, and 74% more likely to return.
Responsive web design lets you have one website to work across all platforms, even the ones that aren't here yet.
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