Many of you may have heard about your website needing to be “responsive” and you may not understand what that means. But trust me when I say that it’s the single most important thing that should be taken care of on your website. Fortunately, many platforms like WordPress (using their Gutenberg editor), Squarespace, and others already integrate responsive design. However, you need to pay attention to make sure that it truly is response and also looks good on other devices. Believe it or not, responsive design could be the key to unlocking your business’s potential in the digital landscape.
What Is a Responsive Website?
In simplest terms, a responsive website is one that adapts to the device on which it’s being viewed. Whether your visitor is on a desktop, tablet, or a smartphone, the website adjusts its layout, images, and functionalities to provide the best user experience possible.
Why is Responsive Design So Crucial?
- Increasing Mobile Usage
- The stats don’t lie. According to recent data, almost half of global internet users access the web through their mobile devices. This is why it is so imperative to put your mobile design first over anything else in your website’s build.
- Higher Search Engine Rankings
- Search engines like Google prioritize responsive websites. Why? Because they offer a better user experience. If your website isn’t responsive, you’re likely losing out on valuable search engine traffic. If your website isn’t cutting it, Google isn’t showing it.
- Better User Experience
- Ever tried navigating a non-responsive website on your phone? It’s a pain, right? Sitting there trying to pinch to zoom in and out, the graphics and text are super tiny. Does that make you want to stick around to use that website? Imagine how your visitors are feeling if your website is also doing that.
- Cost Efficient
- Instead of designing multiple versions of your website for different devices, you only need to maintain one responsive design. This saves both time and money in the long run. If you have a web designer who is putting all this extra time into different looks and layouts to appease your need for mobile layouts, that’s not a good thing, especially for your SEO.
Tips To Make Your Website Responsive
Understanding the importance of a responsive website is one thing, but how do you go about implementing it? If you’re new to web design or don’t consider yourself tech-savvy, this might sound like a daunting task. But with the right approach and guidance, it’s entirely achievable.
- Adopt a Mobile-first Approach
- Start your design process by thinking about mobile users first. This ensures that the most crucial features of your site are accessible to users on a smaller screen.
- Use Flexible Grid Layouts
- This means designing your website in terms of proportions, not fixed pixels. When the screen size changes, the layout adjusts accordingly. Often in website builders, you will have the option to size an area or an element by either pixels, em’s, or percentages. Always choose percentages in these instances because they will be fluid with the rest of the calculated width of a row or column.
- Opt for Scalable Images
- Images should adjust and resize within their containing elements. This can be achieved using CSS techniques, ensuring images don’t look stretched or skewed.
- Implement Media Queries
- Media queries in your website’s code allow you to apply different styles based on the device’s characteristics, like its width, height, or orientation.
- Test, Test, Test
- Use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your website performs on different devices. Make adjustments as necessary.
The Bottom Line
As a small business owner, every decision you make affects your bottom line. While you might be tempted to skip on making your website responsive to save some costs, it’s an investment that promises substantial returns. It’s not just about looking good on a mobile or tablet; it’s about reaching a broader audience, providing a stellar user experience, and setting your business up for digital success.
If the technicalities of responsive design seem overwhelming, remember: you’re not alone. There are numerous professionals out there (yours truly included) who can help transform your site into a responsive masterpiece.