TACO Creative Studio

When is a website responsive?

Responsive website, responsive apps, responsive this and that. It appears that in current years everyone wants to be responsive when it comes to online presence, but only a few who is really aware of the true meaning of it. Sadly, I am not one of them.

So now, together we dig ourselves into the real sense of responsive websites and its practical significance during building a site.

My first step, like probably yours would have been too, was to google it and see what Wikipedia has to say about the topic.

“Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). Wikipedia”

All right, so if my website is responsive, then it’s easy to read and navigate on all devices including desktop, mobile and tablet. It responds to its environment and actually looks good any gizmo I use.

Sounds great, but raising some questions:

Will my website automatically shrink when I view it on mobile?

Not every content element will automatically shrink, but they certainly will be displayed without distortion. You may need to scroll a bit, but no manual resizing or panning will be necessary. Most of the design agencies provide horizontal adjustment within the basic website building fee, but vertical refinement is usually something extra to request since the vertical screen size depends on the width of each user’s menu bar. So many users, so many widths.

Does it mean that I need to have as many websites as device types?

Absolutely not. One of the biggest advantages of responsive design. Site owners don’t have to worry about maintaining all versions of the site and following up if every change has been made in every version. You will have one website which simply looks different on each device.

Can non-responsive website be made to responsive later?

Certainly yes. I was able to find many companies offering this service. It might have some limitations, but it can be definitely done.

Does it cost more than a non-responsive?

Building a responsive website is more complicated and time consuming, therefore more likely to cost more than a traditional one. It’s hard to tell the difference between the two concerning that most design agencies promote themselves with responsive design.

Is it worth it?

– I can write pages and pages about the necessity of having a responsive website, but Jeffrey Veen (CEO and cofounder of Typekit and VP of Products at Adobe) has already summed it up pretty well.

“Day by day, the number of devices, platforms, and browsers that need to work with your site grows. Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.” – Jeffrey Veen

If you want to see the value of a responsively designed website in action, you can do so with OnDevice App website responsiveness presentation tool, created for demonstrate just that. Since this topic is huge and the amount of available information is overwhelming, we might have another article about responsive websites. Until then, this will do, too.


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