The Importance of Being Responsive

According to a recent Nielsen poll, smartphones are in use by just over half of U. S. consumers. I only recently got one myself, but I find myself using it and my Amazon Kindle to surf the internet a lot more often than I use my laptop or desktop machines, and I can’t be alone in that habit. More and more internet users are going to be interacting with your website via phones and tablets, and you should be ready for them.

Luckily that’s not as difficult as it might seem. Thanks to some recently developed, and quite simple, CSS code, optimizing your website for mobile devices has never been easier. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the inner workings of websites, most of them consist of essentially two components: html code that determines the content of your site, and one or more Cascading Style Sheet files that tell the browser how to display that content. A relatively new bit of CSS code can now detect the width of the browser window, so you can change your website’s appearance based on the size of the viewer’s screen, and make it easier to interact with on smaller devices like phones. The web development world is calling it responsive design, and it is fast becoming an indispensable part of website design.

And yet it’s amazing how many websites aren’t doing this yet. A website without responsive design will usually display full screen on a mobile device, resulting in text that is too small to read without a lot of awkward zooming in and scrolling around. 

So if you’re thinking about a new website, or refreshing an old one, make sure you have more than just a desktop monitor or laptop screen in mind.