Responsive Website Design What is it?

responsive website designMobile website design: separate mobile site or responsive website design which is best? The truth is it depends on the nature of your online business and factors such as who will maintain your website, how quickly you need to launch your mobile ready design and more.

Responsive website design what is it? Responsive website design is a method to deliver a page of a website independent of the device requesting the page. The same page is always delivered, on the same url, however its display and content can be prioritized depending on the size of the devices display, e.g. smaller for mobile larger for IPad and PC's..

Responsive website design recently received an endorsement as the way to go if you’re launching a mobile website initiative on Google webmaster tools blog. Responsive website design is essentially the method of coding web pages using HTML5 & CSS that style them to prioritize content size and even content inclusion based on the type of device that requests the page.

For example, if a page is requested by a mobile phone the logo size delivered would be much smaller and appropriate for display on the smaller display of a mobile phone. Navigation may also be streamlined or modified to accommodate the limited navigation capabilities of mobile phones. Content important to a mobile visitor can be sent while less important content might not.  Tap-to-call and tap-to-map buttons can be located in high priority areas at the top of the page for a mobile visitor, while other areas of lower importance like streamlined shopping carts could be sent to tablet visitors.

Use these links to see some responsive website designs in action:

I Love Ny Bagels responsive website design example

Lititz PA - responsive website design example

The idea behind responsive website design is one website for all devices. In theory a responsive website reduces maintenance costs and prevents search engine issues such as potential duplicate content penalties that can be caused by the additional pages needed for a separate mobile website.  The idea of responsive website design is only a few years old. That said there are few designers ready to deliver them and the fact is they are a more complex animal that your standard full sized site with a separate mobile version, so in practice the cost is much higher.

Google has clarified the choice regarding which way to go... either separate mobile site or responsive website design in this post on their Google Analytics blog.

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