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Responsive web design

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A question often asked these days is “Is your website responsive?”. What does this even mean?

A responsive website is one which is built on a grid framework (such as Bootstrap or Foundation) and is therefore able to “respond” to different display sizes. Elements in the grid are programmed to assume a different shape and position on the webpage, depending on the device on which the website is being viewed. So a well-designed responsive website will look right on a desktop or laptop, but also on a tablet or smartphone. Regardless of the dimensions of the device, the page elements should reorganise to create a user-friendly interface.

The reasons behind the development of responsive web design have less to do with aesthetics and more to do with user experience. If you haver ever tried to view a non-responsive website on a smartphone you will know what I mean. If your website is responsive it will be user-friendly on all devices. If your site is not responsive your site will essentially be ignored by users on mobile devices, who currently account for about 50% of your sites potential visitors.

So if your site is not responsive you are missing a very significant proportion of your potential customer base. As well as that, Google confers an advantage on sites that are mobile-friendly, meaning your non-responsive site is not doing as well as it could in terms of SEO and search rankings. If you are currently thinking about having a website designed, or having an existing website redesigned, make sure your new website is responsive. It doesn’t require any significant extra work on the part of the designer, it shouldn’t cost any more than a standard website but it will work wonders for your presence on the web.

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