A responsive website is a site that behaves based on the browsing requirements of the device a person is using. That is, a site must react differently on a mobile device from when viewed using a laptop or desktop computer. Before, optimizing a site to include a mobile strategy is optional. With the dawn of Mobilegeddon, however, Google required that the existing websites must be mobile-friendly as well as the websites that a digital agency should develop in the future.
What makes a responsive business website responsive?
Virtually all business websites built with responsiveness in mind must be scalable. It means the entire site rather than the specific objects. The site must be developed as facets of the same experience, not as a compilation of disconnected designs. With this, a clean coding structure is the number one priority to develop a business site that emphasizes an optimal viewing experience. A practical, responsive website is both flexible and adaptive to the media that renders it.
Gone are those days when developers are confined with desktop-only browsers (Internet Explorer 8 and below). Modern browsers are the current platforms. Thus, for a business website to be functional and serve its purpose, it must be developed with the latest browser versions in mind. The goal is to enhance the experience fully and without any compromises concerning visuals and features.
When we say native, it means that the viewport renders the way it should render depending on the device and browser being used. The viewport refers to the viewable area. The problem is it is seldom equivalent to the devices’ screen sizes. The simple solution is having a meta tag <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width”> which means making the content render based on the width of the device.
Images (and texts) must flow fluidly in responsive websites. Simply put, images should scale to various screen sizes too. It would be a problem when a user uses an iPhone with 320px wide viewport and rotate it horizontally to have a 480px wide screen. Good thing, this can be addressed using CSS as mad-width: 100%. The image will scale up to maximize the available space even when the div it belonged to is less than the intrinsic width of a particular image.
When it comes to responsive web design, degradation is a good thing. The exact term is graceful degradation. The concept is easy to understand wherein the elements you may see using a smartphone with 4-inch display screen would be different from the elements you should see when you use a tablet with an 11-inch display screen. You should see more objects in the latter than in the former. Using CSS media queries, the layout is adjusted to suit the viewport or include breakpoints. These are the points where a responsive site must change significantly and involve the base rules of rendering.
Expectations abound the mobile experience wherein the website should load in a mere one second or even more quickly to enhance the viewing experience. People are after quick-loading website more so since they are aware of the options. They can either stop viewing when your site loads too slowly or find another website using their mobile devices that would load to the speed they are expecting.
These are the six words you should remember when designing or browsing a responsive website. Without these essentials, you can never truly say that a site you are viewing is indeed responsive. The Internet is never static and so should business websites especially now that the goal is to be mobile-friendly because the users are now considered as mobile-first users.