Responsive web design

9th June 2011

Responsive design

My eyes have been opened to responsive web design and there is definitely no going back for me.

If you’re not familiar with responsive web design it’s basically a way of designing a website so it can adapt to different screen resolutions. Every user’s device is catered for, eliminating the risk of losing visitors. And, although flexible layouts are nothing new, the need for them is getting more crucial as more of us are using smart phones and tablets to view the internet.

I personally used to love designing a fixed layout website with everything in its exact place but it doesn’t always work well on smart phones. Constantly zooming in to view text and scrolling left, right, up and down just gets frustrating and can put a lot of visitors off.

One solution can be to design a separate mobile website. Now this is fine if the content on this version will differ from the full site. But if the content will be the same you would need to update both versions, which can be time consuming and costly.

This is where responsive design shows its brilliance. Not only would a website look fabulous on an average sized desktop screen but it would also automatically adapt to different screen resolutions and would even adapt to small smart phone resolutions.

How to create a responsive website

The combination of a fluid layout which uses flexible images and CSS media queries is the method to creating an adaptive website. CSS media queries are a brilliant way of controlling the way a layout can change as they basically let you apply different style sheets to different screen resolutions.

For more in-depth information on media queries please see this post on Web Designer Wall.

Thinking differently

Responsive web design isn’t just about the coding and technology behind it, but it also requires a different way of thinking. I’ve only just discovered the beauty of responsive web design and it can take a while to figure out how each element will adapt in relation to other elements, eventually creating layouts that work at every resolution. But it is well worth the effort and, with more and more of these sites popping up, responsive web design is certainly looking like the way of the future.

Posted by: Caroline Stickland   -   Categories: Digital

8 Comments to “Responsive web design”

  1. George T. Wiliam:

    Thanks Buddybud,

    Will put it to good use!

  2. roger long:

    Lovely article, definitely forwarding this informative article. Thanx for using your experience to publish and make great reads like this. Kind regards John

  3. Roger:

    I am very blown away at all the new changes I see at Smart Media Technologies. They are one of the most creative companies to hit the internet in a long time. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight here.

  4. Sue Jenkins:

    not to jump on this thread but im thinking oftrying out this company to do marketing on my blog does any no anything about them, they are based in london so i heard. i cant find any reviews on them – Rod Gardner and Associates, 19 st Helens Gardens, London, W10 6LW – 0207 558 8957

  5. Smart Media Technologies:

    Wow, this post is nice, my sister is analyzing these kinds of things, therefore I am going to inform her.

  6. Caroline Stickland:

    Sue – I’ve never heard of Rod and Gardener so can’t comment on what they do. What I will say is be careful. Some SEO companies will promise that they can get your site to the top of Google, which sounds amazing but if they are doing this through Google Adwords then all you are doing is paying to be a sponsored ad at the top and side of the results page.

    In my opinion the best way to improve your sites ‘organic’ ranking is with great content, you can learn more here – SEO tip #1: Content is key

    Making sure your site is built correctly too can also help – SEO tip #2: Clean coding equals a solid structure

    Hope this helps.

  7. Miriam:

    I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon. best regards Webdesign

  8. koaorpa:

    Harris Associates Blog » Responsive web design Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

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