So, what does a responsive website mean? A responsive website has pages that render well on almost all devices and screen sizes. Responsive websites became more important as mobile design became more important. As the variety of screen sizes and resolutions increased, developers had to develop more ways to ensure an excellent user experience independent of what device and system were being used. Collections of technologies were developed to help create a more standardized user experience.

One of the most important parts of responsive design is called the fluid grid. Previously, developers would make websites based on fixed pixels; fluid grid uses proportions instead of fixed pixels to layout web pages. Media queries is another important part of responsive design. Media queries allow a website to obtain information about the device and system of the user to conditionally apply styles to a website. Media queries can also be used to conditionally style depending on if a device is in either landscape or portrait mode.

Some of the areas that need careful planning to create a responsive website include images and layout structure. Images that would look great in desktop could look distorted on different devices and resolutions. HTML5 allows for the property called data-fullsrc for the image tag. On any screen that is wider than 480 pixels, the higher resolution image will be loaded; for smaller screens, the lower resolution image will be loaded. JavaScript is sometimes used for implementation. For designs with multiple column layouts, changing the layout for lower resolutions is an important consideration to make sure that a website is responsive.

So why does your company need a responsive website? Depending on your business, more users will be visiting your website from a mobile or tablet than a desktop computer. Responsive design is something that you want to get right from the beginning as problems and redesign will cause it to be significantly more difficult to understand how your website is used. Working on analytics and conversion rate optimization (CRO) will be more difficult if there are multiple versions of your website. Another reason that building a responsive website is important is that many companies and individuals will judge the quality of your company and brand by how well your website looks and works.

Overall, responsive web development is used to make your website look great across all devices (desktop computer, tablet PC, and smartphone). Without careful planning, your website could not be useable for certain individuals trying to use your website and will lead to smaller net income for your business.

By Janet J

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