Webtalk with Andrew Firth

Welcome to my monthly column, helping Kirklees businesses to achieve more from websites, whether that is by attracting more visitors, selling more products or communicating more effectively.

Last month I discussed the changes to Google Places, being replaced by Google+ Local for business and the impact that this has on business owners.

This month I am going to discuss Responsive Web Design – the new way to build websites, what it is and why you should consider it.


What is Responsive Web Design?

If you are in the market for a new website, then chances are your web design agency will ask you if you would like to consider having it made using Responsive Web Design.

Responsive Web Design or RWD is the practice of designing websites that are fluid enough to flow on the screen size of any device you have, from a smartphone to a tablet to a desktop PC. 

When building websites the designer always has to make sure the site displays properly and consistently on all possible browser and operating system combinations.

Now with RWD they also need to make sure that the website reacts differently regardless of screen size. If you understand this, then you’ll understand just how complex it is.


Why Responsive Web Design is important

This complexity has however arisen out of necessity. Before RWD websites had to be built with multiple versions to suit different devices – that’s why if you wanted a website to display and function well on a smartphone you had to purchase a mobile version as well as a standard website.

Then with the increase in popularity of the tablet, neither of the above would suffice.

The mobile versions were often so streamlined they appeared minimal and a step backwards on larger devices and the standard version still had to be pinched and scrolled, which can be frustrating.

This need for multiple versions meant that something had to be done and so RWD has risen to the fore, enabling a single website to be designed and built that would work on any screen size.

Responsive Web Design is the style of development where the content acts responsively to the device that is being used, ie the code allows the website to know what device is being used and renders the graphics accordingly, taking into account the size and resolution of the display screen.

Over the next few years expect to see RWD gaining in popularity as businesses renew their websites and require a good presence across all available devices.

RWD may be more expensive and more complex but it ticks a lot of boxes and definitely adds to the user experience, whatever the device they are using.

To read more on this and other subjects, visit the blog at www.ascensor.co.uk/blog.

For more information contact andrew@ascensor.co.uk.

Follow me on Twitter: @andrewjfirth; connect on LinkedIn: andrewjfirth

Ascensor are a full service website design, ecommerce and search engine marketing company. For a free, noobligation website review contact sales@ascensor.co.uk.

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