What is responsive web design?

A man surfing the internet on his mobile phone

Responsive web design is where a website is made to dynamically reshape and re-order its content so that it can fit on mobile phones and tablets nicely. And at the same time, re-size and re-order itself once again when viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.

Think of it as a flexible yoga master that can also grow or shrink in size. Being able to bend and move itself to fit whatever screen it’s being viewed on.

Websites weren’t always responsive

When the internet first made it big onto the scene in the 90s, all websites were not even anywhere close to being responsive. Simply having a website was a new concept for a lot of people.

It wasn’t until Apple came out with the first iPhone in 2007 that we started to notice those websites didn’t look so good when forced to display on a tiny, narrow screen.

People would see a website with really tiny writing that they would have to pinch to zoom into and even then they wouldn’t be able to fit all the words on the page at the same time, having to scroll left to right in order to read. It was a terrible experience.

Technology advances with time

As time went by, and web technology advanced, people eventually started building websites to become responsive. This was important because it allowed the user to be able to read and view content on the website much more clearly. Fonts could be adjusted to a more readable size, images could be re-sized so they could fit the screen correctly, they even started designing sites with more mobile-friendly navigation bars.

This too is important because you want the viewer to have a good experience and to be able to move through your site without any issue. And mobile users to view websites is only becoming more and more common. In fact, the number of users surfing websites on their mobile or tablet device is starting to outnumber those who are using a laptop or desktop computer. So why is that?

Well, a couple of factors. For one there are an awful lot of people out there who have a mobile phone. A lot. Secondly, access to the internet has become cheaper, even those who have a prepaid mobile phone plan can still use it to surf the web and they do so frequently.

So why is this important for business owners?

We have reached a point now where e-commerce stores can easily allow users to perform transactions with businesses on a mobile or tablet device.

And unlike a laptop or desktop computer, it’s almost always a guarantee that a person will either have their mobile phone on them or at some point that day pick up their mobile phone to use the internet. Never before have customers been so accessible. Just imagine that for a moment. Being able to make a sale with someone via a device they carry in their pocket.

And as the saying goes “don’t make it hard for me to buy from you”.

The easier it is for customers to do business with you via your website and especially via their mobile phone or tablet, the higher the chances you’ll be able to make a sale from a prospective buyer.

Is every website responsive?

No, not automatically. It’s something a web designer can build into the styling of the site so it can do that, but it’s not difficult to do. In fact, with newer programming features to do with styling websites, it’s easier than ever before.

If you have a website and it’s not responsive, you can have a web designer refactor the code on your website so that it is responsive.