What is Responsive Web Design and Why Do We Need It?
Responsive Web Design
Until a few years ago, the fixed-width design was made by keeping in mind the screen size of the desktop or laptop. This is because of the very small screen size devices, people used to visit the website. But since the development of mobile devices and smartphones has increased, the requirement of mobile version websites has increased. Now people are choosing to visit the website from their smartphone. So you should make your site mobile friendly means responsive web design as soon as possible.
How did the launch of Responsive Web Design?
Since last few years, the number of smartphones and mobile devices has increased. Due to this, a problem arose that web designers could not accurately show a fixed-width website on different size screens.
In order to tackle this problem, web designers took a path that created separate sites for desktop and mobile devices. But this path was not so easy, creating different versions for every screen size and resolutions was an impossible task.
If different versions of a website were created, its maintenance cost would also increase. Due to this, different jobs for SEO and SEO ranking would have to be done separately.
Finally, in 2010, to solve all these problems, a web designer Ethan Marcotte found a new way of designing a website that he named Responsive Web Design (RWD).
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is a process in which the website is designed in such a way that it adjusts its layout according to the screen size and orientation. It is compatible with the desktop, laptop, tablet to mobile devices with small screens.
Why should your website be responsive?
According to the survey done by G20 countries, the highest (about 79%) people in India use mobile devices to access the internet.
With this figure, you can understand that if you do not use the mobile-friendly website in today’s time, you will not be able to access your website by up to 79% of the people.
Benefits of Responsive Website:
- Mobile traffic will increase: If your website is responsive, then it will be liked by mobile visitors and this will increase the traffic of the website.
- Website loading speed will increase: If you have optimized your website for mobile and tablets, it will not take much time for web pages to open and the site will improve.
- It’s easy to manage: If you create separate sites for desktop and mobile, then obviously promoting two separate sites will not be easy to promote. But if your website is responsive then you will get a job from a single site.
- Google also recommends: RWD likes Google because the URL of the responsive website is same for all the devices so that Google has the ability to understand and crawl it to index it.
3 Major Elements of Responsive Web Design
According to Ethan Marcotte, RWD is composed of three main components fluid grid, flexible images, and media queries.
If you are learning web designing then you should know about these 3 main parts of the RWD.
So let us know about the 3 major elements of the RWD:
The size of most elements of the website is set in a pixel which is fixed, but instead of setting the height and width of the website layout in the pixel, we use percentage as per the fluid grid.
Creating fluid layouts just does not work as long as all the components of the page are not flexible, they will not be able to render properly on the browser.
We also need to make images flexible so that they can be adjusted on almost all screen sizes.
In order to create a flexible image, we have to define its size in CSS by percentage, for which max-width, max-height property must be used.
CSS Media queries are very great features through which we can display different layout in different ways like screen, print, handheld etc. on different media types.
You can customize website layout according to individual screen resolution and orientation using media queries.
To explain what media queries are and how to use it, we have written a separate article for this, which you can visit here to read.
How to know if the website is responsive or not?
There is a simple way to know that whether a website is responsive or not. Its easiest way is to open the browser bar on that site and then lower the size of the browser window. See if the components of the website are shifted according to the window size. If you get adjusted then understand that the site is responsive.
For this purpose, you can also use developer tools available in the browser or an online tool such as isresponsive.com or feedbackinator.com.