Responsive Web Design

responsive web designResponsive Web Design is where web development is heading. Having a website that is adaptable to any size screen is going to be a must. There are plenty of websites that have already adopted this technology with more to follow.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design is an approach to web design that enables a website to be viewed on any size screen with a minimal amount of resizing and scrolling. This means that the layout is fluid and will adapt to the device being used for browsing.

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Why do we need Responsive Web Design?

More and more people are using tablets and smart phones to browse the web. Normal websites are harder to view on these devices because you have scroll and resize a lot.

In the past the answer for this was to have a separate mobile website built for mobile use. This costs more and from an SEO standpoint hurts your rankings. Mobile websites have different URLs which means links to them do not help your main website’s results in search.

The other answer was to have an app created for mobile and tablet use. This is not really feasible due to the sheer number of different platforms that are out there.

So it is becoming more and more clear that having one website, that adapts to all screen sizes, is key.

How does it work?

Basically, CSS3 now allows using “media queries” to determine what size screen the viewer is using. Fluid grid layouts and flexible images are then used to adapt the content to fit the screen.

Multi-column websites will adapt by dropping down to single columns when the screen gets smaller. Content blocks and images adapt by scaling up and down to fit the screen. Navigation bars can change from horizontal to vertical so all links are viewable without having to scroll or zoom.

All of these features combine to make for the best user experience regardless of the device being used. With tablet and smartphone sales skyrocketing, 2013 is set to be the year for responsive web design.

What are your thoughts on this new way of designing websites? Will it become the set standard?