Responsive web design (RWD) is a mobile website design and development technique that that enables web content to adapt itself to different devices, depending on the screen size and orientation of the device on which the content is being viewed. Websites developed using Responsive Web Design show the same page to every viewer but with the site’s design and layout altering automatically based on the screen size of the device being used by the viewer, be it a desktop PC, a tablet or a smartphone.
It is the best solution to the problem of designing your website for the multitude of devices available to customers today (phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.).
Mobile Websites (Responsive Design) consists of three different approaches:
- Content layer = rich semantic HTML markup
- Presentation layer = CSS and styling
Responsive Design: This technique is a subset of Adaptive Design and focuses on the layout of the website such as fluid grids, flexible images and media queries to adapt the website to the screen it is being viewed on.
Adaptive Layout: This Responsive Design technique is a different form of Responsive Design, in which a dynamic website layout is developed by combining multiple fixed widths in order to cater to multiple screen sizes.
Regardless of the Responsive Design technique/techniques used, the key technical features that drive Responsive Web Design include: media queries and media query listeners (via which developers can target specific devices and examine the physical characteristics of the device which will render the work), a fluid grid-based layout which makes use of relative sizing to adapt the site’s layout to the screen in question, and flexible images and media (enabled via dynamic resizing or CSS) which can alter their size and position according to the layout adopted for the screen in question.
We recommend using responsive web design because it make your mobile website flexible enough to adapt to different screen sizes on the fly. This greatly enhances its usability since the content of the website is easily viewable and navigable on any screen, and the media and fonts are automatically resized according to the screen size being viewed on, making the user experience much more pleasant.
Responsive Web Design also helps you save time and cost, since with RWD you only need to develop the site’s code once and can instantly deployable for all platforms (desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones) rather than developing different versions of the site for different devices. A single site is also easier to maintain, since any update required need only to be deployed once and will work perfectly on all platforms and screen sizes.
Responsive Web Design also aids in SEO, since you’re using just one URL and the same HTML for your mobile website, for all devices and platforms, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize the site’s content.
Having content on a single website and URL also makes it easier for users to share, interact with and link to, than content that would otherwise live on separate mobile/desktop versions. Since no redirection is needed to get to multiple device-optimized views, the site’s load time is also reduced and also eliminates the need for user agent-based redirection.