October 15th, 2012
Web Design & Development
For the past year it seems as though a leading topic circulating in the general public has been the need for developing a mobile website. Stats are all over the web that web traffic is being driven by mobile browsing and companies are seeing the need to better capture this audience. Presently trends indicate a decline in time on site and pages per visit from mobile visits to a desktop site, and it’s this void that web marketers are trying to fill.
Incidentally, a tangential conversation about responsive web design is being held within web development circles. Thanks to this revolutionary style of coding, one website is capable of dynamically displaying on all platforms–meaning no need for mobile, tablet, and desktop versions of your website. While this might not be too noticeable to consumers, the positive impact will definitely be felt by businesses since there is no longer the need to develop and maintain three separate website versions.
Without getting too technical, responsive design is accomplished by using CSS rules which render versions of the website based upon predefined screen dimensions. Typically there are three or four display widths to account for desktops, tablets, and smartphones (the fourth is usually a smaller desktop version/horizontal tablet version). Each of these versions has its own look but the overall design theme/style is maintained throughout. For an example of how this works, click here and then manually modify the size of your browser window.
Now that you’re back, I’m sure the question on your mind is how do I integrate this with my website? If your website is build with WordPress, then the first step is to pick an existing responsive design theme. With that in hand, a graphic designer needs to mock up designs for each of the sizes and then pass those files over to a developer to integrate. Obviously, building out a custom-coded site will take additional effort, but the process is the same–create looks for each screen dimension you want to develop and then get to coding.
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