While content is indeed king, how we display that content on our websites is critical for ranking and robust traffic. This is where responsive web design, or RWD, takes over.
People are mobile – just like the devices they use to search for information, products, and services. This is, of course due to the massive uptake in smartphones and tablets. With these devices, consumes interact with the web in new, creative ways. This makes it imperative for web designers and site owners to plan for all the possible devices that consumers can use.
Responsive web design is all about making web designs that are flexible and adaptable to online media. RWD responds to a user’s viewing environment. It negates the need to customize a web design for each user group. It’s the current way forward for those who want to comply with Google’s algorithm changes. Always keep in mind that Google ultimately rewards websites that benefit the user experience.
Seven Fundamentals of Effective, Responsive Web Design
1. Remain focused on your content.
Content, of course, is not only the written word. It can be any element that conveys a branding message. This includes videos, graphics, or images. Visitors to your website are looking for content that resonates. Such content should be easy to find,a nd header content should be found without having to scroll.
2. Always keep a “mobile-first” mentality.
It’s not a bad idea to begin with mobile styles as a foundation. Additional styles can be added with media queries. This keeps your website in the running when someone lands on your website and they’re using a browser or devise that doesn’t support media queries. At the very least, you want them to view a mobile version of your website.
3. Practice fluid grids.
Fluid grids and set-width come into play when designing a flexible foundation. These two factors deal with how website element widths are calculated. You don’t want your images to exceed the container’s width. When you have a responsive web design, you won’t find a horizontal scroll bar. Rigid images can often be the culprit in such an event.
4. Don’t forget about navigation.
It’s easy to get caught up in the thick of things and forget all about navigation. That can happen when you look at your own website long enough. Navigation is one of the most critical assets of any website. It’s also something that a lot of websites get wrong. Even those that claim to be responsive overlook it.
Whatever device users employ to get to your website, there shouldn’t be any navigation issues. Make their experience intuitive—rather than obstructive. Place the navigation menu on smaller screens and allow visitors to access it when they need to.
5. Your website has assets.
These include videos, PDF files, images, and even content etc. Optimize these to complement any screen on any device. Make sure all your assets load quickly. Lengthy loading time is one of the main reasons visitors bounce off your site and on to another. When they leave your site, they’re not done looking for information, products, or services. They’re quite determined to satisfy their curiosity and needs.
6. Responsive web design is touch-friendly.
Is your website friendly to the touch? People use their fingers to scroll on their mobile devices. As such, you make sure your responsive web design is touch-friendly. Your assets should be the right sized and fluid so visitors can navigate in a seamless manner.
7. Pay attention to your CMS.
It’s also critical to choose the right content management system. A lot of companies have responded to the idea of responsive website design by offering CMS platforms with a lot of enticing features. The most logical solution is to partners with a reputable CMS that caters to a large audience with a solid pool of developers.
Keeping your website responsive and on top of search trends can be challenging and time consuming. It can be downright difficult even for the best of site owners. It’s always a good idea to invest in the digital marketers who tackle responsive website design for a living. They’ll have the personnel, experience, and testing tools to keep your online presence competitive and at the top of search results when people look for your products or services.