What is responsive web design and how does it work?
Responsive web design, also called RWD design, defines a modern web design approach that enables websites and pages to be created (or viewed) on all devices and screen sizes by automatically adapting to the screen, whether desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
How does responsive web design work?
Responsive web design works through Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) using a variety of settings to serve different style attributes based on screen size, orientation, resolution, color capability and other features of the user’s device. A few examples of CSS properties for responsive web design include appearance and media queries.
Is my website responsive?
You can quickly see if a website is responding in your web browser.
- Open Google Chrome
- Go to your website
- Press Ctrl + Shift + I to open Chrome DevTools
- Press Ctrl + Shift + M to toggle device toolbar
- View your page from a mobile, tablet or desktop perspective
You can also use a free tool such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if the pages on your website are mobile-friendly. You can achieve mobile-friendliness with other design approaches like adaptive design, but responsive web design is the most common because of its advantages.
Why is responsive web design important for web designers and business owners?
Responsive web design frees web designers, UI designers, and web developers from working day and night to create websites for every different device in existence. It also makes the lives of business owners, marketers and advertisers easier.
Here are a few benefits:
- One site for every device: Whether viewed on a 27-inch iMac with wireless connection or on the screen of your Android phone, the website will be configured for the user’s optimal viewing pleasure.
- Optimal design for the device: With a responsive web design approach, all images, fonts and other HTML elements are scaled appropriately, maximizing the screen size the user has.
- No need for redirects: Other options to design for multiple devices require the use of redirects to send the user to the appropriate version of a web page. The user can access the content they want to view in the fastest way, without the need for guidance.
Responsive web design is also cost effective. It’s also easier to manage because it’s one site instead of two. You don’t need to make changes twice. Instead, you can work and update from a single website.