Mashable may have been a little ahead of itself when it labeled 2013 the Year of Responsive Web Design, but there’s no denying that responsive web design is a prominent trend that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored in 2018. Global mobile browsing has seen steady growth since 2009, with the use of desktop to search the Internet dropping in kind. In October, 2016, global mobile and tablet browsing overtook desktop browsing for the first time, accounting for 51.3 percent of browsing throughout the world.
In retrospect, perhaps Mashable wasn’t ahead of itself several years ago. In fact, the website may have simply issued a warning to small and medium sized businesses that they needed to adapt to an increasingly mobile world. If business owners failed to respond to that warning by making their websites mobile-friendly, mobile overtaking desktop in searches is certainly a red flag that entrepreneurs can no longer ignore.
In years past, many businesses responded to mobile’s increasing popularity by building at least two websites, one for desktop browsers and one for mobile users. While that seemed like a smart fix at the time, having separate sites has its drawbacks, such as increased maintenance costs and having to create and implement separate SEO strategies.
Instead of having two websites, some companies even made separate websites for different kinds of mobile devices. Recognizing that building separate sites for every conceivable mobile device wasn’t sustainable, Ethan Marcotte introduced the concept of responsive design. Put simply, responsive web design involves building website layouts that are fluid and flexible enough to adapt to just about any screen.
Responsive web design includes three fundamental principles, which are:
- Fluid Grids: Despite the name, a grid framework isn’t required in responsive web design. Instead, designers use CSS to position content. Rather than using pixels that can vary by device, responsive web design employs percentages to determine the size of things like text and margins. This approach allows content to be viewed in a way that’s relative to the screen being used to see it.
- Media Queries: Also referred to as “breakpoints,” media queries can use different styles that are determined by the capabilities of the specific device being used to view a website. In other words, media queries identify the kind of device or the size of the browser you’re using and ensure the page you’re viewing is displayed properly.
- Flexible Images and Media: Flexible images and media enable you to manipulate images and additional media so that they load differently for different devices. You can do this by scaling or employing the CSS overflow property.
Making the Switch to Responsive Web Design
While you may dread the thought of switching to responsive web design, it’s essential that you do so in order to remain competitive in today’s connected, global society. When you work with JLB Florida, you’ll no longer dread switching, you’ll look forward to it because we’ll take care of everything.
Whether you just need to update your existing website or you want to start from scratch, we’ll build your website using responsive web design so that it’s ready for a mobile-first world. Contact us to learn more about our responsive web design services today.