Key Points to Convert a Website into Responsive

Mobile Internet browsing was the game-changer for year 2012. The year 2013 is poised for things to only get bigger and better in the web world. If last year we saw a decrease in the sale of desktop, we also saw sales increasing for tablets and smartphones. If predictions are to be believed tablet sales will cross the 100 million mark this year. Today Internet usage has seen an exponential rise mainly because of increasing sale of smartphones and tablets.

In this situation, the need of the hour is to build websites that can be easily viewed on desktops, smartphones, tablets and other devices. If you already have a website there is very less you can do to make it responsive. On the other hand, it is the best time to start designing a new website which can be viewed on multiple platforms.

What is a Responsive Design?

A responsive web design is designing a website in such a manner that the contents of the site fit into any screen size and opens on multiple browsers and operating systems. Basically, a responsive website uses ‘media queries’ to find out what kind of device is viewing the site. Responsive sites are thus a result of flexible images, fluid grids that have the ability to fit into any screen size. It is important that when a website is viewed on a smaller device such as a smartphone or a tablet, lesser elements are displayed and the page isn’t cramped with too much information. Sites should have more prominent link buttons, more blank space and easier viewing options.

Key Points To Remember While Making Websites Responsive

Mobile First: Most developers advocate designing sites for mobile before designing the full-fledged desktop version. The reason for this is simple – in the mobile version lesser elements would be included and it helps in addressing shortcomings of the design structure. Once the mobile version is ready, with the help of media queries, elements in the layout can be adjusted to fit into a large screen. Instead of cutting content and pages from the bigger version (that is the desktop version) it only makes sense to begin with lesser elements.

Design For The Future: In the beginning when developers had just started with responsive designs, they would stress on the device while designing. However, it was soon realized that this isn’t the best approach for responsive designing. Developers should build designs that are future-ready. Technology is fast changing and in a matter of days, the screen sizes of tablets and smartphones change. Thus it is not a good idea to just design for the present generation of devices but have your design future-ready.

Use of Dropdown Menu To Make Navigation Easy: For easy viewing, it is always advisable to have dropdown menus rather than menus arranged horizontally or vertically. Vertical or horizontal arrangement is risky as users may click on them by mistake when viewing the site from a smaller device. To create dropdown menus, a few simple CSS tricks are needed. Furthermore, developers need to know media queries and JavaScript. Navigation can be simplified by only having the primary navigation buttons for smaller screens.

Emphasis on Content: Content is the king for any website and unless content is properly presented the site will fail to deliver. When designing a responsive website, it is important to remember that developers have to optimize the content so that it can be easily viewed on smaller devices. While one group of developers advocate writing the entire content for the full-fledged site and then limiting the access depending on the device viewed, this is not a wise or full-proof method. Content is important for the website and no content should be hidden from the user. Thus continuous emphasis should be laid on content irrespective of the device. It is important to write content that is crisp, short and that justifies the website.

Inserting Meta Tags: For making a website responsive, media queries need to be used liberally. To help do so, developers insert Meta tags at the head of the responsive page. This helps in rendering the site to fit into the correct pixel resolution.

Trim Away Elements: While designing a responsive site, lay emphasis on the landing page. Depending upon the need, the landing page will look different when viewed from a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop. Thus it will be necessary for the developer to trim away elements that are not important.

If you have already designing your website and realized later that your site needs to be responsive, you may be too late with it. The solution in such a case is to develop the site from scratch. Tweaking an already built site isn’t going to be helpful. Remember to design for the future and not limit the site’s responsiveness to only the present generations of devices.

About Author
Nick Grogan is working with Markupbox, which is a specialized PSD to HTML Conversion Company, backed with years of experience and diligent professionals. MarkupBox offers PSD to HTML5 and software implementation services like PSD to Magento, PSD to WordPress, and much more.