If your company website is a little tired (and there are definitely a lot of them out there that look like they were made with Dreamweaver in 2001), then there are a lot of reasons to make upgrading it a priority. It gives you a chance to add new functionality that can increase your bottom line, such as new ways for customers to browse your inventory, share your content, or pay. It also gives you a good opportunity to take a look at your branding and consider strengthening or modernising it. Crucially though, it is the perfect time to take a look at how new trends in technology can benefit you.
One of the biggest things in web design right now is the movement to build ‘responsive’ sites. Here we take a look at what responsive web design involves, and why it is gaining so much traction. If you’re going to redevelop your site in 2013, this is something you are definitely going to want to know about!
What Does ‘Responsive Web Design’ Actually Mean?
Web sites have traditionally been designed to work with the most popular computer browsers, and most developers and site designers will test that sites look good on any browser that currently has more than 5% of the market share among their target audience. Similarly, alternative versions of the site are made available to mobile users, often with specific designs for the biggest players like iPhone, iPad or Blackberry.
There are a lot of problems created by this, and limitations in terms of what these designs can do. For example, while the site you are looking at may have been tested on, say, Chrome, it may not have been optimised to look great with the size of window you have open, or with your accessibility settings. Additionally, as a business or site owner, you have to make sure you update and test content across all versions of your site so the mobile ones are consistent with the PC ones.
Responsive web design is a relatively new approach where you build a single site that proactively adapts to suit the device and browser it is being viewed on.
Why This Helps You and Your Customers
With a responsive design, you only have to maintain one set of content on one domain, and depending on your content management system, this makes adding things to your website and keeping things up to date incredibly simple. Naturally this makes things better for you, however there are also benefits for your customers and other general website visitors.
The site will automatically resize, reformat and rework itself to display in the best possible way for the window and device it is being seen in. This means that mobile users and tablet users will automatically see the perfect view of the site for them, and anyone with an unusual window or browser set up will also be catered for. This leads to a better experience, and with more and more site views across the board now coming from sources other than a standard PC or Mac, this will help you win over your visitors.
The author of this post, Jenny Wadlow, is a fun-loving person and she is passionate about writing. She works as a freelance blogger with a well known Melbourne web development company.