From tiny smart phones to giant TVs, more and more devices are able to browse the web. Responsive design is a web development initiative that makes sure websites work well on any device. But if your site is, in a sense, entirely unresponsive, what are the first steps you can take to build more future-proof site?
1. Understand What Responsive Design Is
Responsive design is a set of tools and ideas that web developers use to create websites that work well on many different devices and platforms. In the early days of mobile browsing, it made sense to have separate websites, one used by mobile devices and one used by computers. With net books getting smaller, smart phones getting larger and tablets and TVs getting into the browsing game, that’s no longer possible.
A responsive website responds to the information provided by the device and displays text, graphics and photos accordingly. It should be easy and comfortable to browse on any device, and show the same content although often in a different ratio or layout.
2. Start Preparing Flexible Content
When you create new blog posts, templates or product descriptions, ask yourself if the content will be easy to reformat. Content with a simple layout and little formatting will be easier to adapt to different screen sizes down the line. As an example, an image displayed across the width of the page will already be resized for different web browsers while an image across part of the page, with a wrap-around text, will have to be handled differently. Keep titles relatively short, as it will have to wrap on a small screen, and try to avoid using large tables, as these are often hard to navigate on a small screen.
3. Talk To Your Web Development Team
Your web team may already moving towards responsive design, or they may have never heard of it. Finding out is critical as it will shape your progress. For most websites, a behind the scenes restructuring and relaunch is usually required to create a truly responsive website, and in many cases significant visual and layout changes will also be required. As a result, it’s critical that your web development team are on board and understand what your priorities are and why responsive design is important for your business. And, of course, if you don’t have a web team or are looking for a new one, we would be happy to take your call.
4. Expect Things To Change
As you shift to a responsive design, some of your old standbys will vanish. As an example, many websites currently have their advertising space as a column down the left or right hand side. Skyscraper ads like these don’t work on a small screen as they take up the entire page. Think about your revenue lines, how your customers currently use your site and how they might use it on the go, and you may spot great opportunities.