Often when you start researching about what a web designer is offering you will come across the term ‘Mobile Responsive’ or ‘Responsive web design’.
You’re probably thinking, ‘not another technical term from a web designer to confuse me more!’ But alas, it is a term you really need to get your head around.
What does Mobile Responsive Design mean?
Responsive Web Design is an approach that is used to allow a single website to respond for optimal viewing specifically for the device that a website is being used on. A responsive web design will make websites easy to read with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling based on the size of the device.
For example this website I recently developed for Celebrate…Just because has various versions for use on Mobile, Tablet & Desktop devices. If you view the website on different sized devices you will be served with a slightly different layout that has been optimised for the size.
Responsive websites is a different kettle of fish compared to ‘mobile only’ website versions. Often ‘mobile only’ will redirect you to a separate domain or subdomain with a mob, or mobile – this is effectively redirecting users to a completely different website. A responsive website is the same content simply with different styles attached, you can display and hide different content sets based on which device is viewing the site, but you do not have to be updating different sites.
Why do I need to know about mobile responsive websites?
Often it’s not included and is added as an additional extra in website quotes. So make sure you ask your web developer if they include mobile responsive as part of their quote if you’re getting quotes. Often it will involve additional screens to be mocked up by the designer as well. It definitely affects the overall development time.
By dropping support for older website browsers I have been able to offer it as standard in all of my packages.
Converting an existing site to a Mobile responsive Design
If you’ve already have a website built that isn’t mobile responsive and you want to head that way, unfortunately the code will most likely need to be completely rebuilt. An expensive task if you’ve just had your website built. You might save some cash on design, but pretty much have to start over and not all designs translate to responsive layouts so it’s best to have a chat to your developer and find out your options.