A website is indeed a need of every business, but nowadays, the web is not about what you see on a computer screen anymore. The internet is being accessed on a very diverse array of devices such as smartphones and gaming consoles. Most of the total web traffic has certainly transferred from desktops to mobile devices at this point.
Unfortunately for some businesses, their websites are only designed and formatted to be accessed using a desktop or a laptop. Viewing a classic business website on your mobile’s browser usually requires pinching, zooming, as well as scrolling for you to see and navigate the entire page. Interacting with these older sites is a real hassle at times.
Mobile Friendly “Themes”
To address this concern, many companies are now installing mobile-optimized web designs or “themes”. These designs are sent to a user by the web server once a mobile device is detected. This is just the first step and as we know, the mobile devices being offered in the market today have different sizes and shapes. A theme that looks great on an iPhone may not function and look the same on a Kindle Fire.
Creating different designs for every major screen size and device type is possible but not practical as the evolution of new device types is so frequent that it will outperform the designer’s ability to customize the theme.
Responsive Website Design
That’s where ‘responsive web design’ comes into the game. It can create just one design that will fit most of the screen and device types, and it might improve your search visibility too. It does not only give your mobile users a better experience, but also provides you with an easier and cheaper way to manage your website.
It works by sensing the constraints of the user’s device and immediately “responding” by reconfiguration of display settings and functions.
To employ this technology on your website, you can either get a web designer or find some site-building tools that offer responsive web design. Whatever is your choice, these helpful tips can definitely assist you in switching over to responsive design.
Tips for Switching to a Responsive Website
- Decide when you will employ the change.
As much as you want to switch ASAP, responsive design is an entirely different way of running the elements of a website, so introducing it to an existing typical website isn’t usually practical. You might need to make the changes when you are creating a new site or upgrading your old one.
- Track the patterns of your mobile traffic.
You need to determine the statistics of your mobile visitors, check the growth of your online market, and make a 2 to 5 years projection. When the results show a steep growth curve, you probably need to go ahead and step up your game by implementing responsive web design soon.
- Do a competitors’ check.
Make a list of the URLs of businesses with the same niche or product as yours and then check out their websites on different devices like a desktop, smartphone, and tablet. Find the site which is easiest to navigate and use and set it as a guide for your designer.
- Hire a designer that has an experience with responsive design.
If you want to hire a web designer to do the job for you, ensure you hire someone who has worked and developed a responsively designed website before. Ask for your designer’s portfolio and check the designed URLs on various device types. Pay attention to the presentation as well as the functionality.
- Use effective and affordable tools for DIY.
In case you want to do it yourself, find an inexpensive web hosting service that allows you to create a responsive website using a drag-and-drop interface. You can also find pre-made responsive themes if your website is built with WordPress.
Patrick Del Rosario is a blogger from Design Bro. DesignBro” is the world’s highest quality logo design crowdsourcing marketplace, focused around a selected community of leading designers. Our designers are hand-picked by our creative team. This means that only professional designers with years of experience get to work on your design. When not working, Patrick enjoys photography and events.