11 tips for making a responsive web design. To begin, it’s helpful to clarify that the term responsive means adaptable. By linking it with web design, we know that a responsive design is an adaptable design. But what does this really mean? Well, responsive web designs adapt to all sizes and device options to offer a better browsing experience to users of a particular site or page.
What is responsive web design really about?
A responsive web design is one that is structured to adapt to different types and sizes of screens. And, consequently, to the various devices we use to access a web page.
When a web design is responsive, the system automatically detects it. It adapts the site’s elements – such as images, the menu, and typography – to the size of the screen you’re browsing on.
It is important not to confuse responsive web design with mobile web versions. The first is a website that adapts to any size. In contrast, the second refers to an arrangement created exclusively for phones. So, we would be talking about two different and independent sites.
Therefore, we advise using a responsive web design over an additional mobile web version so that you only focus on maintaining and improving a single site rather than two. Sites with a responsive web design will work perfectly on any device of any size if it has the necessary elements.
Importance of having a responsive web design
We tend to access the Internet primarily through mobile devices, like cell phones, tablets, or other handheld devices. Consequently, the display of the sites we access should be optimized and, above all, fast.
Imagine being in a hurry looking for information or requesting a service and the site doesn’t load.
Or the font is so small that you have to zoom in on the screen to read it. Undoubtedly, it would be very cumbersome.
To facilitate navigation, websites need to be responsive and offer a better user experience.
Advantages of a responsive website
- You use a unique URL, which provides better positioning in search rankings.
- The website design will be implemented equally for all devices so there’s no need to make a new one for mobile versions.
- You save time and money in terms of maintenance. While it is true that maintaining a responsive website is not cheap, the investment is small compared to maintaining more than one site at a time.
- The design can be displayed on all browsers and devices regardless of the model.
- You can avoid duplicating content.
- For digital marketing purposes, a responsive web design makes it easier to share content, helping it go viral faster.
- Responsive web designs increase traffic to your site. This provides a satisfactory experience to the client and consequently improves SEO positioning.
- It increases the good reputation of your company or brand. A responsive website is capable of showing all the benefits of your branding and creating engagement for future purchases and increased sales.
Elements of a responsive website
There are certain factors to consider when making a responsive website work properly. Offering that experience that will make a user not hesitate to enter from wherever they are and through any computer or device. Some of these factors are the following:
Images and Videos
They must have the appropriate resolution and size to adapt to any screen size without losing their quality in the eyes of the observer.
One of the most important factors is the time it takes for a site to load. This can generate great satisfaction if it is fast. Or frustrating if, on the contrary, all the elements are displayed slowly, which can cause dropouts.
Effects and tabs
There are some aspects of web browsing that can only be experienced through a desktop computer, and not on a cell phone. For example, the mouse is for the exclusive use of desktop computers, while on devices such as phones and tablets, everything is tactile, either with a pencil or a finger. For this reason, you should try to incorporate links and effects. They can be used from whichever device you use and can offer us the information we require without problems.
In the case of mobile phones, the best format for browsing is vertical. While on a desktop computer, the common layout is horizontal. That is why both must be incorporated to respond to all needs.
This point is critical since a legible font, even in its mobile version where you do not need to zoom in to read it, will improve the Internet user’s experience.
11 tips on creating a responsive website
There are a few necessary steps to take to make your website responsive and successful. For example:
Taking a mobile-first approach
A mobile-first approach consists of a web design and layout trend that prioritizes accessibility for mobile devices, all from the design of a website for tablets and cell phones. This structure will later adapt to desktop computers and not the other way around as it was usually used.
Migrating from desktop to mobile
Suppose, in your case, you already have a website designed and created for a desktop computer, as usually happens. In that case, you need to make the changes to convert it to a suitable version for mobiles. You can do this through the implementation of a website builder that offers you the ability to recreate the already established design without the need for programming. Or you can use CMS plugins, which are currently already designed to be responsive.
Implementing a responsive theme
It is a good decision to make the theme responsive from the beginning, especially if you do not have vast experience in web design. Selecting a responsive theme will ensure that it will automatically adapt to any device.
For this, you can resort to specialized sites that have a theme market. Another detail to keep in mind is that if your site is already up and running, we recommend making a backup before making the change.
Saying no to the use of Flash
Flash is an inactive program no longer supported by its creator, yet most leading browsers support it. So, if you use Flash, you will probably cause many headaches to those who visit your site because they won´t be able to access it correctly. Avoid using Flash and say yes to friendly navigation.
We have already mentioned this aspect, but it’s important enough to mention it again. A fast site, in addition to facilitating navigation, simply attracts more customers and users while generating a positive experience. So, discard everything that slows downloading time, such as inactive plugins and unnecessary widgets, among others. Additionally, choose a web host and server quality that will provide high performance to your website.
Taking care of the appearance
We have been talking about what a responsive website should have and the elements it should contain to work optimally. However, its appearance is also significant. The appearance of a site is its face and letter of introduction to the world. Therefore, it’s important not to neglect it.
Compatibility refers to whether your responsive website design is compatible with mobile devices and whether it does what it was created for. To measure this, Google has a mobile device compatibility test tool. By entering your URL, you can obtain detailed analysis and verify if it is suitable for mobile versions.
Using the accelerated mobile pages option
Accelerated mobile pages, or AMP, is a framework dedicated to accelerating the loading process of a website in its mobile versions through data compression to a number much smaller than that of an ordinary page for much faster loading processes.
Using Media Queries
Media queries are the syntax used when wanting to modify a website or application based on a specific device.
This is a critical process because it makes it possible for the site to adapt to any device and screen size. So, it´s necessary to verify that the queries are configured for all existing screen sizes and not for the more frequent ones.
Going for a standard typeface
There are endless options available on the market for fonts and pages to download and use. But, in the case of websites, not opting for a beautiful and elegant script font is the smart thing to do.
The best thing you can do is use standard fonts that are legible even on small screens.
Regarding the size of the font, the ideal is 16-pixels, which can be seen clearly without the need to zoom in.
The use of good quality images, but of adequate size, is the best combination for responsive websites. Remember that the objective is to be able to view everything from the screen of your phone, so large images will not load at the speed that they deserve.
But you should still avoid reducing their size too much, thus losing quality.
Several programs can help optimize images, but this process must be applied before uploading them to the website.
Technology, digital media, and the world of marketing are dynamic and constantly changing. So, if you are part of this world, you must be at the forefront of the field so that your brand or company does not fall behind.
To stay ahead of the curve, it is necessary to adapt to emerging advances and novelties so that your website is always one step ahead of the others.
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