What makes a website mobile-friendly? Responsive Web Design!
Responsive Web design, or RWD, is a newly developed practice born out of the modern proliferation of mobile devices which offer the capacity to be connected to the internet. Only a few years after the introduction of the first truly mobile Web device, as many as 60% of all connections to the internet are now made through mobile devices. The core idea behind responsive Web design is that a Website should be created in such a way as to make it easy to view across a wide range of devices; these include traditional personal computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and – coming soon – a vast array of other devices, including wristwatches and household appliances. West Palm Beach website design understands this.
We are mobile-friendly
We offer Web design geared towards mobile platforms, which will adapt to PC and laptop displays – not the other way around – through responsive Web design principles.
Our mobile-friendly services include responsively designed Websites, which are optimized to be viewed via mobile devices (as opposed to having to adapt to a mobile view from a default PC or laptop display schematic). We also offer the updating of an existing Web presence to become much more readily accessible on a mobile device, through the application of the same mobile-friendly RWD ideas.
One website for all devices? Yes!
The traditional approach in Web design has been to design separate, mobile-friendly Websites for access through mobile devices. With the ongoing status of the digital technological revolution, however, the proliferation of mobile connections makes this an impractical option. Servers have been clogged with separate copies of the same content, designed to be accessed by different devices, to the point where the amount of data available become almost unmanageable. Meanwhile, accessing many standard Websites with a mobile device is impractical, sometimes to the point of being completely impossible: images are too large, content becomes displaced, and many elements don't display at all.
This problem is what has led to the rise of responsive Web design as a replacement philosophical approach to Web design. Some aspects of RWD rely upon the existence of new digital technologies, but it is mostly a matter of one's approach. The idea is to create Web-based content that retains both its components and its proportions, as much as possible, regardless of the medium through which it is being conveyed to the user: across multiple platforms, from the PC to the smartphone, the responsively designed Website displays in more or less the same faction. It is rarely a perfect success, but with the recent changes in screen size within a variety of mobile platforms, it is reaching new heights of sustainability.
As of recently, Google picked up some of its previous slack in regards to mobile-friendly content. Google searches made from mobile devices now give more mobile-friendly content, which displays greater use of the RWD ideas, higher priority within the organic search results – a change which has Web designers and marketing professionals scrambling to catch up with regards to how their own content is displayed.
Factors Involved in Responsive Web Design
There are a few basic components involved in the RWD concept which are critical to its successful implementation. These are typically known as the fluid grid, the flexible image, and the media query. Together, they work to display a Website in as close to optimal fashion as possible, regardless of the device being used to view it. This works to the advantage of mobile device users, who often find themselves struggling to view content that is optimized for the traditional PC or the laptop computer, the developers of which have not taken steps to ensure a mobile-friendly version of their Site.
The Fluid Grid Concept:
Using Web design technology that has been in existence for years but was previously used mostly for varying aesthetic purposes, a Website can be designed so that its proportions are maintained. Individual elements of the Website are displayed relative to one another, and if a particular display requires the reduction of an element in width, its height can be automatically modified to maintain its proportions. Meanwhile, other elements rearrange themselves around it consistently. This allows for as smooth an experience as is presently achievable on a Site that is meant to display between multiple platforms.
The Flexible Image Concept:
Even as far back as the early days of HTML, an image's proportions could be defined – not simply in pixels, or in other fixed units of measurement – but by percentages. For instance, a banner image could be centered at the top of the display, and then instructed to expand from its core dimensions (its actual size) to fill 80% of the width of the available display. Barring specific instructions otherwise, the height of the image would be automatically adapted to maintain its default proportions, although it could also be directed to adapt itself to fill a certain percentage of a defined area... such as a frame, or – more recently – other divisions inherent to such stylistic languages as CSS. With recent advancements in Web design technology, this kind of option has only become more flexible; along the same principle as the fluid grid concept, the idea of using “flexible images” involves defining their display dimensions by percentage, rather than by fixed values, and doing this with every image on a Website. This allows the medium through which a Website is being displayed to incorporate images into its fluid display more quickly, and make the user's overall experience that much smoother.
Modern Web design elements, such as CSS, greatly enhance the performance and functionality offered by HTML and other older elements of Web design. The media query is a function by which a Web page may “query” the device on which it is being displayed as to what exactly that device is. Having gathered some information on how it is being viewed, the page can adapt itself to certain predetermined states based upon the particulars of that device, rather than requiring that an individual with a mobile device visit a separate Web page. This “shores up” gaps that might otherwise be left over from the fluid grid and flexible image concepts, and helps to ensure that – whatever device a person might be using – they are able to experience the full impact of their selected Web content.