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Why businesses should spend money on responsive web design

Up to now, countless websites on the Internet are still not designed to be viewed on mobile devices.

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In order to keep up with their tech-savvy customers, it is important for business owners to have websites that are able to adapt to whatever device the former are using to access the web. According to recent reports, 73.4 percent of internet users accessed the web using their mobile phones in 2013. This is expected to hit 90 percent by 2017.

It’s definitely bad news for businesses whose websites are not mobile and responsive, but it also provides opportunity for others to ride the trend as soon as possible to remain competitive.

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Enter responsive web design

Smashing Magazine defines responsive web design as website design that adjusts to the user’s “behavior and environment based on screen size, platform, and orientation.”

The design incorporates a mix of flexible layouts, grids, and CSS media queries. (Source)

Let’s take a look at each of these elements:

Adaptive screen resolution is one of the most important aspects of responsive web design. With a gamut of devices coming out at a dizzying pace, it is quite a challenge to keep up with the variations and design for each and every resolution size. To solve this issue, designers and developers have identified and developed screen resolution “presets” as a guide when creating a responsive website. They create layouts for each of these resolutions, so that the website loads and flows seamlessly even if the user is visiting it via an iPad or a Nokia phone.

Creating fluid grids is an integral process in developing responsive web design. Websites often load high-quality images for aesthetic value, which could mess up the appearance of the website when it is viewed on a mobile browser. With fluid grids, images are automatically resized to fit the screen. Hiding and revealing portions of images, creating sliding composite images, and incorporating foreground images that fit various layouts are some of the most common practices in creating a responsive fluid grid.

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Incorporating flexible images is a must in responsive web design.  A simple technique that designers use to resize image is setting the image to their maximum size in a responsive layout and letting the browser do the work. “The idea behind fluid images is that you deliver images at the maximum size they will be used at. You don’t declare the height and width in your code, but instead let the browser resize the images as needed while using CSS to guide their relative size,” explained mobile strategist Jason Grigsby to Smashing Magazine.

CSS media queries contain media types and the expression that controls the scope of the design’s media features (width, height, color). This allows designers to tailor websites in a responsive sense.

CSS3 is favored by most designers because of its added media features such as max-width and device-width, orientation, and color. These added features allow developers to further tweak the design and responsiveness of a website.

A good responsive web design will not only push a website’s adaptability to the changing times, but it also works well for search engine optimization.  As noted by Search Engine Watch, it is easier for Google to crawl a website if it incorporates responsive web design.

IT Craft, a Ukrainian software developer, is one of the global leaders in responsive web design and development. Learn more about your business can benefit from responsive websites by visiting the company’s blog.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

French-American social entrepreneur Dom Einhorn is the founder and CEO of Exponential, Inc. (XPO2). XPO2 is a cause-related technology marketing firm that specializes in developing and promoting white label e-commerce platforms. These platforms help boost the fundraising capabilities of charities, non-profit organizations, and CSR-interested corporations in different countries.

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