We love to make all our web projects ‘responsive’. So, I might as well start by explaining about responsive website design and why it should be important to you. first, you probably need to know….
What is responsive website design?
Responsive websites are sites that are coded to adjust and work well on different devices and screens. So, a responsive site will not only look good on a mobile device, but the features, such as drop down menus, buttons, picture links, etc., will all work flawlessly. Fluid movement of the website from one size and shape screen to another is another important factor.
Some people refer to responsive websites as ‘mobile friendly’. That’s a moderately accurate answer. But, responsive websites are also better on different shaped big screens too. Think of the difference of a standard 4:3 shaped monitor and a 16:9 widescreen. A responsive website will adjust for that screen and look much better on it too. In some cases, the responsive designed website can even tell that the screen is higher resolution (like with an Apple Retina Display) and can swap out standard resolution pictures and graphics for higher resolution images, all done automatically.
Why is responsive website design important?
So, aesthetics is one reason. But is that a big enough reason to worry about whether a website is responsive or not? Well, yes. And here’s why. In the last couple years, the average consumer has moved from browsing the web from their desktop computer to their tablet computers and smartphones. Google has determined (and I think they have the data to determine damn near anything) that over 50% of all website views are now on smartphones. So, if your website is built to be viewed only on a desktop screen, your potential clients & customers are not having a good time with your website and are likely to drop off and go look at your competitors site. That sucks.
Is my current website responsive?
Well, there are several tests you can do to see if your website meets the basic requirements of a responsive website design. First, simply resize your browser. Do the pictures and text move around in response to the new window size? If so, you’re probably going to be okay. Next, try your website on a handheld device like a smartphone or an iPad (tablet). Does it take on a better look for the device or is it exactly the same as what you see on your desktop but only miniaturized? One last test – try a test platform. You can enter your site in on Googles Mobile Friendly test
How does this all work? It seems like PFM.
Well, it’s not pure * magic. The background technology is pretty impressive though. When you bring up a responsive website on your computer or smartphone, the first thing that happens is that website asks the browser to identify the type of browser, what type of device, and what shape of screen. Then the website sends the data formatted for that device. Boom. You get an optimized serve-up of the website for that device.
So, the big difference is in the code on the site. First piece is a little ‘meta code’ making the request about the browser and device info. Then there is some code called CSS, which tells the browser how the page is to look. This includes adjustments for the size of fonts, colors, etc.
Next comes the actual content. Now days, the content is not stored in the actual webpages (we call that ‘hard coded pages’), but the content is stored in a database and is pulled for display at the right time. I could go into a pretty long explanation as to how and why this is awesome – but it’s a little much and quite a bit off track for a post about responsive web design.
Anyway, all these elements come together with the visitors eyeballs in mind. Your visitor will get an awesome experience on your website and you will have a much better chance of converting them to a client or customer.
Can we do the switch to Responsive Website Design ourselves? Why would we have LRB do it for us?
You could muddle through converting your site yourself, but a really important reason to have LRB do it for you is simply because we add the marketing elements to not only make it responsive, but to make your potential customers RESPOND TO IT. You see, we’re not about ‘pretty’. We’re all about marketing. Taking those browsing visitors and convincing them to push a button to call you. It’s called ‘lead conversion’. It starts with a great website experience and it must move them to the next level. Whether the next level is filling out a form, or calling your office, we want to push to make that interaction occur. Call us today to get a free tour of one of our successful web properties and a comparison to your website. You’ll love the things that we can do to increase your business.