What is Responsive Web Design?
There are a plethora of screen sizes out there and ensuring that your website works well with a screen size can be the difference between a customer and another bounce rate statistic. This becomes increasingly important when your business in competing in small markets, like Trinidad and Tobago or the rest of the Caribbean. If your website isn’t responsive you may be missing out on a huge opportunity.
This article aims to demystify responsive web design into a clear and understandable format for non-web developers. After reading you can take this knowledge and apply it to your current website or a website development project you may be planning in the future.
Responsive web design explained in its simplest form — is when you design a website that automatically scales its content and elements to match the screen size on which it is viewed. By implementing a responsive design you improve the way your website looks on multiple screen sizes and boost usability as a result.
Why is it important for you?
There are a few reasons this is important but we choose four (4) reasons as it pertains to a business in small markets, for example, the Caribbean.
It helps with your website ranking.
Get your website ranked on the first page of Google is what everyone aspires for and building a responsive website actually helps with this. In early 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would become a ranking factor in its search engine algorithms. This means that sites that are mobile-friendly fare better in search engine results because they wouldn’t be delivering a good experience to mobile searchers and viewers.
Improved User Experience.
User experience is important, delivering a good experience promotes engagement and encourages users to come back. If someone visits your website on a mobile device, and it takes forever to load or your pictures do not have the proper resolution, it can make your company appear unprofessional.
Maintaining separate sites for your mobile and non-mobile audiences can get expensive. By using responsive design, you can save money by eliminating the cost of paying for a mobile site. You will only need to invest in a single site design to appeal to all visitors and all devices.
What to look out for when creating a responsive website.
Consider a Mobile First Approach.
Consider designing a mobile version of your website first is an excellent place to start your project. This allows you to see how the images, text, logos, and other elements will look on smaller screens. If they display without problems, then you shouldn’t have any problems adapting your design to larger screens.
Learn How Your Visitors Use Mobile
Understand that people will use websites differently on desktop computers than on mobile devices. Consider surveying your website visitors or using analytics to figure out why they’re accessing your site with a mobile device and which pages and elements they access the most. This information will help you understand which pages and other elements of your website need to be readily available on smaller screens.
Plan Your Design First.
Before designing your site, it’s helpful to plan the layout first. In fact, most web designers start by creating a wireframe and then the visual design of the website before moving onto the coding part. Not only will this help you create the exact look and feel that you want, it will also make it easier for you or your designer to customize the template and integrate it seamlessly with your brand.
Competitiveness is important for your Caribbean business and creating a responsive website is an important part of any modern web strategy—and it should be part of yours, too.