As more and more people move to an “Always On” world, where we are constantly connected to our devices, mobile browsing of websites through devices like Smart phones and Tablets continues to rise. With an increasing percentage of users researching services and purchasing products from Tablets and mobile phones, a key focus of any online business should be to deliver the best possible browsing experience at all times and on all devices. Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an optional extra, but now a crucial, core ingredient in online marketing strategy and business success.

Enhancing the online experience for mobile

Google’s recent Search Algorithm update was aimed specifically at mobile-friendly websites. The algorithm looks at how mobile-friendly a site is with a focus on displaying high-quality, easy to navigate websites higher up in it’s Search Results. When a consumer searches for a product or service online from their mobile device, Google will show the user the most appropriate website results – those that are mobile-friendly. For website owners looking to be found in Google on mobile devices, a mobile-friendly website is now a crucial consideration. To learn more about Google’s new update, read our related blog article.

Responsive web design infographic Quikclicks

What is Responsive Web Design?

Google rank benefits aside, the core advantage in having a mobile-friendly website is obvious – allow your visitors to easily research your services and buy your products from any device. There are a number of mobile-friendly website development options, but the best by far for may reasons is a method of building a website using Responsive Website Design. Utilising Responsive design ensures your whole website (not just a few key pages) are visible on mobile devices. When viewing a website that is not mobile-friendly on a mobile phone, the user will just see the entire ‘regular-sized’ website shrunk down to fit on the small mobile screen. Text, links, pictures and menu items are therefore all shrunk to minute sizes and extremely difficult to interact with unless a user ‘zooms-in’. Using Responsive webdesign keeps your site and all the content within it fluid and ensures your website fits any device available now or in released in the future – this is because the website is developed to grow and shrink dynamically as the browser window size changes for different devices. The content on each page dynamically re-organises it self and stacks to fit the space available on the device being used, while keeping the actual text, links and image content at optimal viewing size so that no manual ‘zooming’ is required by the user.

At Quikclicks we design and build beautiful, fast, clean responsive websites that are optimised for all devices and across all platforms. We custom build your website to not only your business needs but to the needs of your clients or customers. We have extensive experience in Responsive Ecommerce Website Design and can help you maximise your online business opportunities.

Responsive websites recently built by Quikclicks

Below are some recent Responsive sites built by Quikclicks. View more examples of our recent Web Design work on our Web Design Portfolio

responsive website design for harvey norman
Harvey Norman Security
responsive webdesign vom
Voice of the Martyrs
responsive web design for pelactiv
Pelactiv
quikclicks responsive website design for aspire
Aspire Floors

Understanding Responsive Website Design

Below we have written an in-depth article discussing what Responsive web design is, it’s advantages and disadvantages, best-practice and how to implement it in your website.

Overview

As more and more people move to an “Always On” world, where we are constantly connected to our devices, mobile browsing of websites through devices like smartphones and tablets continues to rise.

With an increasing percentage of users researching services and purchasing products from tablets and mobile phones, a key focus of any online business should be to deliver the best possible browsing experience at all times and on all devices.

Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an optional extra, but now a crucial, core ingredient in online marketing strategy and business success.

Google rank benefits aside, the core advantage in having a mobile-friendly website is obvious – allow your visitors to easily research your services and buy your products from any device. There are a number of mobile-friendly website development options, but the best by far for many reasons is a method of building a website using Responsive Website Design. Utilising Responsive design ensures your whole website (not just a few key pages) are visible on mobile devices.

When viewing a website that is not mobile-friendly on a mobile phone, the user will just see the entire ‘regular-sized’ website shrunk down to fit on the small mobile screen. Text, links, pictures, and menu items are therefore all shrunk to minute sizes and extremely difficult to interact with unless a user ‘zooms-in’.

Using Responsive web design keeps your site and all the content within it fluid and ensures your website fits any device available now or is released in the future – this is because the website is developed to grow and shrink dynamically as the browser window size changes for different devices. The content on each page dynamically re-organises itself and stacks to fit the space available on the device being used, while keeping the actual text, links and image content at optimal viewing size so that no manual ‘zooming’ is required by the user.

Responsive web design is an approach where a designer creates a web page that resizes itself depending on the type and size of the device it’s displayed on. Various types of devices could be large desktop computer monitors, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. It is an important tool for everyone who has a digital presence. People are mostly using smartphones, tablets, which means they are using much smaller screens to view web pages.

The problem with non-responsive websites

Responsive websites are mobile-friendly and look great on devices with both large and small screens, increasing the amount of time that visitors spend on your site. A traditional “fixed” website will probably show about three columns on your desktop computer monitor, but when you switch to view it from your smartphone or tablet, you will need to scroll horizontally to see the remaining columns. Sometimes, even some elements of the website might be hidden from view or look distorted. It also gets messy when you try to view it from your tablet since all tablets can be viewed either in portrait mode or turned sideways for landscape view. It’s even more challenging to view the website on a tiny smartphone screen.

Responsive vs non-responsive web design

Large images can “break”’ the layout and the website can load really slowly on smartphones if they are graphics heavy, reducing visitor interaction and conversions. If a website uses responsive design, the Tablet version will automatically adjust to display just two columns, serving only portions of the content as required, making content more readable and easier to navigate. On a smartphone, there may be displayed just one column and the user will have an ability to swipe over to view the remaining columns. Images will resize automatically instead of distorting the layout or getting cut off.

Key points when making your website Responsive

  1. When building a responsive website, or making responsive an existing site, the first element to look at is the layout. A responsive layout is the first step to a fully responsive website. Another thing that is really important in creating a responsive website is the typography. A responsive website should have a responsive font.
  2. Testing the responsive design means testing the website or URL from different devices. In fact, it is not possible to test the responsive website completely because to do so you will need to set up multiple systems for multiple screen sizes. One of the possible ways to test a responsive design is by resizing the browser window.
  3. Google Chrome browser provides a software program called “Emulator” which helps change the screen features and environment as per the desired device needed for testing. This responsive web design online test tool is a software or program that is provided with the Chrome browser which makes the host system, your current browser, behave like the guest system AKA browser of the desired device that needs to be tested for the screen size needed. The purpose of responsive web design tester is to make sure that responsive design is satisfying all test scenarios to ensure it is a bug-free responsive design.
  4. Testing and checking the resolution of the images could be a tough task. You can test it by opening a responsive design website from a PC, tablet, and mobile. All of the images on the responsive web page should be different on all of the three devices. Another way to test is to open the responsive website from a PC and check the image on the web page. Now resize the window to the size of a tablet and check the image. This should be different from the image shown for the desktop screen size. Now you can resize the window to mobile screen size and check the image. This image should also be different from the above two images.

Responsive website testing tools

Responsive design testing has its own difficulties. It requires keen observation and implementation of multiple test strategies. With the introduction of various testing tools and emulators, the responsive design testing process has simplified to a certain extent. Some of the responsive web design tester tools you can use to test a responsive design are:

  1. Google Chrome “Emulator”
  2. “Viewport Resizer”
  3. “Responsive Design Checker”
  4. “Screenfly”
  5. “Designmodo”
  6. “APTUS” for MAC computers

Regardless of improvements, testers and developers must interact and exchange ideas during the development and testing phase, which will allow them to create and deliver better results in a much shorter period of time.

Take a look at some Responsive web design examples:

Advantages of Responsive Web Design

Understandably, the main point of responsive design is for the website to adjust automatically based on the device it’s displayed on. There are many advantages to making your website Responsive:

  • Avoiding unnecessary resizing, scrolling, panning, or zooming that occurs with sites that have not been optimised for different devices. It is very difficult to navigate these sites, and it may even cost you potential customers who became frustrated with trying to figure out how to do something on your site.
  • Replaces the previous need to develop a dedicated mobile website just for smartphone users. Today, instead of designing multiple websites for different screen sizes, you can design just one website that scales up or down automatically to match the device it’s being viewed on.
    Responsive web design consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and intelligent use of CSS media queries. When the user switches from their laptop to tablet, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size, and scripting abilities.
  • A responsive design means a type of design where the characteristics of the website will adjust according to the width of the screen. This means that you are serving different webpages to users on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC. It’s implemented on the code. This has nothing to do with a specific design pattern. No matter how your website looks, you can make a responsive design. This is rather a functional aspect, even though the functionality is achieved by the designer.
  • We live in a multi-screen society, and that’s the reason why it is so important for your site to be viewable across as many devices as possible. You may never know what device will someone be using to visit your website. Nowadays, the number of smartphone users outnumbers desktop computer users, and this number will continue to rise as global smartphone accessibility increases. Having a responsive website will maximise the potential interactions with visitors to your website.
  • In addition to that, in early 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would become one of ranking factors in its search engine algorithms. This meant that the websites who weren’t mobile-friendly would potentially lose some ground in search engine results because they wouldn’t be delivering a good experience to smartphone users.

Disadvantages of Responsive Web Design

Although there are a number of compelling reasons to design a website in a responsive fashion, there are a few reasons you may choose to avoid responsive design. Given the budget, it may be better in some cases to build independent websites that automatically load depending on which different device is being used. Some of the disadvantages of responsive website design are:

  • Not every site will look great on every device
  • You could run into problems with resized advertisements on banner ads
  • You may want to offer different things to different users according to which device they use, and this can a problem on responsive websites;
  • It may be difficult for you to create a responsive website on your own that will be unique and accurate to your branding.

Should your website be Responsive?

Although we have listed some disadvantages above, the overwhelmed majority of responsive website statistics reinforce the idea that this is the best approach. If you take help from a responsive website design company to design your website then make sure to take care of the responsive web design principles.

The layout of a website has to respond and adapt to the dimensions of the device on which it is displayed (responsive design). A responsive web design fluid grid provides a visual way to create different layouts corresponding to devices on which the website is displayed.

For example, 61 percent of mobile users say they will leave the website immediately if they cannot find what they are looking for, or if your website won’t load the information. So even despite the drawbacks, responsive design is what the majority of Internet users prefer, because it makes the mobile browsing process much easier.

A seamless mobile experience is a must, and having a mobile version of a website provides customers with a much better user experience, which positively impacts brand image and sales. Granting mobile users website access on the go has become a high priority to most businesses in the world. Mobile friendly website version has become a must today because it provides customers with much better user experience, which positively impacts brand image and sales.

In 2015, Google announced a massive update of its ranking algorithm, which required all websites, landing pages, and blogs to be fully optimised for mobile. The internet started revolving around users’ needs, delivering information that was relevant and accessible without tapping or zooming in. So, if you want to avoid being penalised by Google, it is important for your website to be mobile friendly.

Mobile devices are now the leading platform keeping the pace with or surpassing desktop use. Google reports that “global mobile internet usage now stands at 76 percent.”

If your website is unprepared for mobile-first indexing, it will have serious SEO problems. No matter how awesome and stylish your landing page is, it means little if it’s not optimised for mobile. So, you can’t risk having an under-performing mobile friendly landing page.

Take a look at some more responsive web design examples:

How do you make a website Responsive?

Basically, a mobile version of your site can be developed by reorganizing your desktop content elements into mobile-friendly ones. In this case, you’re going to deliver a responsive web design that matches the desktop version. Additionally, you have some other options for creating a mobile-friendly site. They include:

  • Canonical AMP
    All your site’s pages are created in AMP HTML, and the mobile version is the same as the desktop site.
  • Separate URLs
    Each desktop URL has a sister URL, an m-dot site that serves mobile-optimized content. Since Google prefers the mobile URL for indexing, follow these instructions to get ready.
  • Dynamic serving
    This approach keeps the same URL but changes the HTML. It employs user-agents to detect what kind of device is being used and dynamically switches the appropriate view.
  • AMP and non-AMP
    With this approach, a user sees two different URLs. Google favours the mobile version of the non-AMP URL for indexing. If your non-AMP mobile version uses dynamic serving or separate URLs, study these best practices to fix it.
  • Desktop-only
    If your site only has a desktop version, there aren’t going to be any changes. The mobile version will mirror the desktop version.
  • Responsive web design
    This is the most recommended website design method because it doesn’t create two copies of one site – there’s just one website. Online visitors only see one URL, and the website adapts as the user transitions between devices and screen sizes.

Enhancing the online experience for mobile users

Google’s recent Search Algorithm update was aimed specifically at mobile-friendly websites. The algorithm looks at how mobile-friendly a site is with a focus on displaying high-quality, easy to navigate websites higher up in its Search Results.

When a consumer searches for a product or service online from their mobile device, Google will show the user the most appropriate website results – those that are mobile-friendly. For website owners looking to be found in Google on mobile devices, a mobile-friendly website is now a crucial consideration. To learn more about Google’s new update, read our related blog article.

It seems that Google just loves giving website managers more work. The mobile-first indexing is a good change which benefits Google users, webmasters, and marketers. Updating your website will accommodate how people research information, shop, and it will help them find what they’re looking for much faster. This helps increase your company’s conversions and profit. It’s a win-win situation!

It’s no secret that mobile friendly WordPress sites are the new norm, but despite how common they may seem, it can still take a little work to create a beautiful, responsive site.

To make your WordPress site mobile-friendly, you need to:

  1. Understand why responsive web design is important
  2. Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
  3. Use a responsive WordPress theme (or create your own)
  4. Consider mobile friendly WordPress plugins
  5. Use mobile friendly opt-ins
  6. Think in terms of responsive media

Mobile Friendly Checklist:

  • Static content that doesn’t change
  • Simplified navigation
  • Images display smaller
  • Not reliant on a mobile operating system to function properly

Mobile Friendly vs Responsive?

A mobile-friendly site is actually a copy of your website, where the server does the work to deliver optimized pages that will appear smaller on a phone and may not work ideally on a touchscreen device. It will, however, be functional.

On the other hand, a website with responsive design automatically adjusts and re-formats itself according to the user’s behaviour and environment, based on the device’s screen size, platform, and orientation.

Google’s ‘’Mobile-Friendly Test’’ tool is easy to use to check whether your website is mobile friendly. Simply type in the full URL of the webpage that you want to test. Any redirects implemented by the page will be followed by the test. The test typically takes less than a minute to run. Test results include a screenshot of how the page looks to Google on a mobile device, as well as a list of any mobile usability problems that it finds. Mobile usability problems are issues that can affect a user that visits the page on a mobile (small screen) device, including small font sizes (which are hard to read on a small screen) and use of Flash (which isn’t supported by most mobile devices).

There are many other mobile friendly website test tools that you can use, such as “mobiReady” or “MobileTest”.

Conclusion

Responsive web design is certainly a convenient solution for various types of websites. It takes a lot of work when it comes to development, but if your website is simple, logical, and has a lot of information that can’t be modified for mobile users – this is the right choice.

Responsive design enables you to put your best foot forward in the present and helps you have the proper foundation in place for the future. It is here to stay for many reasons, but mostly because it is the only way to reach the thousands of devices that access sites.

As adoption becomes more common, the non-responsive sites will increasingly frustrate those accustomed to visiting locations that are seemingly custom built for their device.

First, set your website goals for both mobile and desktop versions. Only with a clear purpose, you can make a decision whether to go for responsive web design or separate mobile web.

Is your website Mobile-Friendly?

Ensure your customers can order your services or purchase your online products on any device at anytime. Click on the link below to take Google’s Mobile Friendly Test and see how mobile-friendly your site is: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

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