How To Build a Professional Responsive Website?
A website is only a simple domain that consists of web pages, yet it is crucial for any business to establish oneself. Having an online presence opens up new opportunities and benefits that otherwise wouldn’t be available. A website could play a key role in your marketing strategies and can provide your business a lot more traction and exposure.
A website or social media account can be accessed around the clock (24/7/365) by anyone. People don’t have to walk into a store or even make a phone call, so having a website ensures that they can take the most convenient route towards you.
Having a web presence also empowers your credibility with the information you provide. Potential customers will have a much easier time in trusting you. It also drives your sales because you can sell your products and services online as well. Sometimes the better it looks the more credible you’ll seem to your users.
Web design has changed a lot over the years as mobile devices hit the market. In fact, about 40% of online activity is driven by mobile devices. So it is important to have your website optimized for them in order to ensure the best experience for your users.
Websites that are optimized for both PC’s and mobile devices are called responsive websites. They have the ability to change their layout and rearrange all the elements of a website if the screen size or the window size on your PC changes. Thanks to responsive web designs, you can have a single website that looks amazing no matter what kind of device people use to access it.
Today, we are going to tell you the ins and outs of responsive web design. Why it is important for your website to be responsive and what technologies you can implement to create it.
What are Responsive Websites and Why Is Having one Important?
Responsive web design enables a desktop website to respond to the user’s behavior, in terms of the device and the web browser they use to view your site. It’s a practice that implements flexible layouts, grids and images along with a resourceful use of CSS.
By using responsive web design, we’re not forced to create a new website for each group of users. It implements fluid layouts, scripts and media queries that change the look and layout of a website with ease.
Once you have a fully responsive website set up, users can view it on their PC, laptop, iPad, and tablet and on a wide range of other devices, such as phones. So basically, a responsive website will automatically respond to the user’s technological preferences. A website like this will automatically switch to the appropriate resolution, font size and accommodate for the device’s scripting abilities. So no matter what kind of device this website is viewed from, it will look amazing or at least the way the creator wants it to.
The key concept is to have everything adjustable to specific needs.
Adjustable screen resolution is one of the key aspects of this technology, because it ensures that the website changes according to the device it is viewed on. This is particularly important, as a new device with a new screen size comes out almost every day. These advanced devices and smartphones even have the landscape view option, which would require a completely different page layout in itself. It is these situations, in which we have to have our designs as flexible as possible, but doing so would mean that we have to optimize for hundreds of different screen sizes. That’s just too much, but we have to deal with the situation accordingly.
The solution is making every bit of the website flexible. Every image, text, button and each element of the site can be adjusted automatically. This enables devices to instantly change from portrait view to landscape and the website will still look the way it was supposed to.
How To Build a Responsive Website
Responsive web design has become a basic necessity for most web pages, because of the ever growing number of smartphones being used. Over the years, most web development technologies have implemented responsive web design and now we have some pretty sophisticated options for creating such a site for ourselves.
We can either code a responsive website ourselves with HTML and CSS or create one with a CMS platform or a website builder app. Regardless of your skill level; you have a way of creating a professional looking and responsive website.
Using HTML and CSS to Create a Responsive Website
This is a very basic explanation of how responsive web design works with the use of HTML and CSS code. CSS3 offers the use of media queries which is also a straight forward way to create responsive web designs but it falls outside the scope of this article. Here, you’ll only see the basic concept of using HTML and CSS for creating a responsive site.
Let’s say that it’s going to have a classic website layout with a header, body, sidebar and footer. We’ll create these sections with divs and give them a name like so <div class=”Body”> Add images and some text to your website. You can refer to these in your CSS files. Your site has to create various CSS files that are optimized for different screen sizes. So, using files such as desktop.css, tablet.css, mobile.css is or creating files according to screen sizes is one way to go about it.
You’ll have to use a line of code to detect what kind of device is currently visiting your webpage and to know the size of its screen.
Set up the width, height, margins, etc. in your CSS files according to the screen size you’re working with. You can also set these attributes for pictures and it works best if you define their width and height in percentages.
Once you know how big you would like a picture or an element to be, you can calculate how many percentages you have to attribute to its width or height. For example, if the size of your page is 840px and you want your chosen image to be 250px, and then divide 250 by 840 and multiply the result by 100. You’ll get 29.76, which means you’ll have to apply 29.76% to your image.
The actual result here is 29.76190476190476, I’ve rounded the value for the sake of readability, but you shouldn’t do it when you’re coding your website. Computers display things as accurately as you tell them to.
You can also use a responsive grid-view, which is easy to understand and manage. See the tutorial w3schools offers to understand how it works.
Using a CMS to Create a Responsive Website
A CMS (content management platform) lets you update and manage your website’s content. No matter what kind of website you’re running, you’re better off using a CMS to keep its content up to date. It will run on the backend of the website and you can manage the content and the visual layout of your website.
Most CMS platforms (at least the most popular ones) offer users the ability to create unique and professional looking websites with various themes and plugins. Looking at them from a design perspective, they offer great possibilities for responsive web design. Most of the themes they use are fully responsive right out of the box.
Below we’ll give the top three CMS platforms that can be used to create responsive websites:
WordPress started out as a simple blogging platform but has been expanded, enabling its users to create just about any kind of website they set their mind to. It runs about 20% of websites on the Internet and has thousands of fully responsive themes. Whatever kind of website you might think of building, you’ll find a professional looking theme or template that will you can use to make it come to life.
Joomla was made for users who have some web developer experience. It is an open source CMS that works best with eCommerce websites. It has many responsive themes and templates you can download and integrate. It’s very easy to create a unique and professional looking responsive website with it.
Durpal is a content management system that works best under a developer’s hand. It is highly customizable and can be used to manage thousands of pages. Large enterprises use it for its reliability and security. Even the White House has its website created with Durpal.
You can choose from more than 25,000 add-ons and many themes to set your website up just the way you want it. Durpal is very flexible and can create a simple blog or interactive websites for businesses.
Using Website Builders for Building Responsive Websites
A huge shift took place in how websites are being created, thanks to the many new age web design tools that are being released. Thanks to these design tools, web designers no longer have to know coding to create beautiful websites. Every site is created according to the latest standards and is compatible with multiple platforms.
Modern website builders let designers create clean W3C compliant codes by using drag and drop features. You’ll have an easy time creating a responsive website for any screen size and platform. I’ll show you three of the most feature rich and advanced web design tools that you can use to create complex and awesome looking responsive web designs.
Wix.com is a leading cloud-based website building platform that makes it easy for everyone to create stunning, professional and usable websites. Users can choose from a large set of templates and customize them for their needs.
Wix is one of the most popular and well-established website building platforms, having over 90 million users worldwide.
Wix is beginner friendly, enabling non-technical users to create their own websites with no need of learning any programming language or web design. With their drag and drop site builder everyone can set up different type of website: simple business site, blog, online shop, photography portfolio, online CV, event or other.
Weebly is an easy to use drag and drop website builder, which is constantly improved and supports CSS/HTML editing too. It is ideal for individuals and small-businesses to design their own website without the need of using code or having web design skills. In the next part of this Weebly review, I will show you the pros and cons of using this site builder. Will give you a few tips on how to start your site fast and which plan to choose.
DudaMobile.com is a leading DIY website builder that focuses on helping individuals and professionals build natively responsive websites and mobile-only sites. This website builder tool also allows you to create an ultra-personalized website that changes based on triggers such as time of day, type of device, and location.
A lot of thought and work has been put into making responsive web design and it has reached a point where almost every new website integrates it to some extent. It is a key component of any web design as more and more mobile devices are being used.
Even those users who don’t have coding knowledge can use it, thanks to CMS platforms and various web design tools.
I hope this article helped you wrap your head around responsive web design and how you can use it!