Responsive web design is crafting a website with an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices.
Not that long ago, website design was focused primarily on cross-browser compatibility – making sure a websites appeared correctly in the top browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome) – all centered around desktop and laptop views. As the cell phone market exploded, mobile websites became popular. Companies would create a desktop version of their website along with a separate mobile version. When you visited their website, it would determine which version to show you based on the type of devices you were using.
Now that a third of American adults also own a tablet device, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project, website design has taken another turn. Consumers are now equipped with a desktop computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone, making it increasingly important that your website not only work on each device but that the visitor has a similarly, pleasant experience regardless of which device they use.
With the constant introduction of new devices and screen sizes, responsive design has become important in web design. Responsive design uses one website that scales up or down to fit all devices and screen resolutions. This provides a more consistent experience across all devices.
Additionally, Google states responsive design is the preferred configuration for smartphone-optimized websites. With only one website, using the same HTML, it is easier for Google to crawl and index.
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Author: Jennifer Sanderson
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