Responsive web design, as described by Wikipedia, "is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices" (desktop laptop, tablet or smart phone).  Essentially, your website adapts or “responds” to the size of the screen it is being viewed on.

What do you mean it responds?

By respond I mean the site adjusts or changes size to best fit the size of the screen you are viewing the website on. On small screens such as an iPhone, the website may remove elements, shrink pictures, or re-align components to make it fit on the smaller screen. You won’t have to pinch and zoom to view the content of the site, and the navigation menu may change to work with a touch screen instead of a mouse. What does that ultimately mean for your business? A better viewing experience for your customer, and maximum funtionality, always a good thing! View the screen shot below to see a side by side comparison of our site on a regular desktop computer, a tablet, and a smartphone.

 

desktop vs mobile screenshot

Webuilders Site
Desktop Vs Tablet Vs Smartphone

Who’s using responsive web design?

Large corporations such as sony.com, and even microsft.com are using responsive web design to power their websites. Barack Obama's 2012 campaign website used responsive design. More and more we are seeing small and medium sized businesses incorporating responsive design to stay connected to their customers. Consider these stats (courtesy of 6S Marketing). 80% of Canadians are now online, using the web an average of 17.2 hours/week. 70% of these people use mobile or tablet devices. 77% of this group use these devices in stores. Our own mobile website development  process lead us to using responsive design and replacing the separate mobile site we had originally developed.

What advantages does responsive web design offer?

Responsive web design offers the advantages of making your website look great whether your visitors are using their desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. All of these devices use different screen sizes and resolutions meaning that without using a responsive web design it would be difficult to build and manage separate sites for all of them.

You also gain the advantage of only having to update one site. Any changes made to your site will be reflected across all devices.

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