Responsive Web Design (RWD) has been around since nearly the beginning of image-laced website design. Since the start of modern-day webpages, online designers have had the ability to create a website that is either static or fluid in design. Recently, many responsive website developers have taken an analogous approach by using the fluid widths of ems along with percentages. Additionally, by using adjustable layouts and scalable images, the display of website results maximize the efficiency of a viewable screen size while each visitor browses through the desired webpage.
With the growth in popularity of tablets, netbooks and smart phones, web designers have had to come to grips with redesigning their websites in the “post PC era”. Though a challenge to code, Responsive Website Design helps developers and designers push the envelope to adapt to an ever-changing evolution of internet-connected electronics. Using flexible images, flexible layouts and media queries, many savvy web designers can optimize each webpage no matter what type of device the visitor is using.
With the invention of Responsive Web Design, software programs have evolved to generate webpage results that are relative in uniformity. For software developers, the benefit seems clear because it can reduce or eliminate the burden of creating multiple versions of the same website. Though at first it might seem challenging, simplifying programming languages provides a more clear architecture and generates a user experience that is significantly more enjoyable.
A Responsive Web Designer takes full advantage of two specific tools that were once used separately. Before the latest evolution of Responsive Web Design had come to fruition, web designers either resized an image “on-the-fly” to fit a specific browser page, or, simply cropped the image. Today however, they combine both methods which enable the image to be automatically resized any time the generated display area falls well below a specific size. The ability to enable every flexible image to be scaled down to fit the screen allows full rendering of the webpage.
Just as the moniker implies, web designers use a flexible layout based on fluid grids that change with browser width adjustments to reposition all data and images to their newly adjusted position. This is easily accomplished by altering the programming design from a fixed pixel width to a percentage in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) fluid design.
Just like a conditional comment, media queries allow the designer to use a single style sheet for a large display while at the same time providing a variety of style sheets for mobile devices that display their images and data in different widths. An effective media query design can easily generate multiple layouts of the same content. To maximize scalability, CSS media queries can be used for applying a variety of page styling according to specific parameters including orientation in min-width.
Impact on Search Engine Optimization
Without a Responsive Web Design approach, many search engines, including Google were facing a major challenge of how to rank each website with multiple displays of the same site. If a company chose to design a single website for each electronic device including mobile phones and tablets, how would each search engine rank multiple copies of the identical site?
To overcome this problem, search engine companies and website designers encourage developers to create a single cogent web experience for each site that easily adapts to a single platform. The result is the preservation of efficient search engine link algorithms and avoids the overwhelming burden of evaluating multiple desktop and mobile/tablet versions of a single site, as separate entities.
A Profitable Evolution
Research shows that at least one third of every website visitor now uses a browser on their mobile or tablet device to reach their online destination. As a result, it is more important as ever to use Responsive Website Design to make the visitor’s experience more enjoyable, easy to use and simple to navigate. As a way to significantly resolve design challenges associated with the large variety of varying resolutions, Responsive Website Design can have an immediate positive impact by generating a mobile presence without any significant additional expense.
When you take into consideration the variety of laptops, web browsers, tablets, and all OS (operating systems) access to the internet every day, it is amazing that developers and web designers have figured a simple solution around a difficult challenge. Using web standards and effective Responsive Web Design, programmers have cohesively connected optimal functionality and a uniform experience for every visitor to their website.