Web/App Development

Steps to Build a Good Responsive Website

In this digital era, where it is hard to imagine life without a smartphone, responsiveness is the most basic parameter when building a website. There are a lot of other parameters as well that are to be considered like simplicity, loading speed, and so on. If your website isn’t responsive by now, it is probably loosing lots of visitors, and it’s high time you make your website responsive now and make sure it’s compatible with all the devices like mobile, PC and tablets. A good responsive website adjusts itself to all the resolutions and makes it easy for the user to use it from any device.

Here are a few steps you can follow to make sure you design good responsive websites.

1. Content Management

Usually when it comes to websites in mobile, they do not need as much content as needed in case of a PC. So first we will have to decide what content to keep in mobile view. A good approach is to set priorities within content and keep the content with highest priority on top, and with the lowest priority content, either remove them or keep them at the bottom. This way viewers will not miss any important information, and it will save a lot of their time.

2. Layout Design

In Mobile, less is more. The layout is completely different from that of a PC. So before you start coding its’ best you design the layout first because it then becomes very easy to code it without any confusion as to what you need to place where. While designing, you should keep in mind that for mobile, the buttons should be large enough for the users to tap on it without any difficulties using their fingertips, and also the text should be large enough so they don’t need to zoom in to read the contents.

3. Mobile First Approach

After you’re done designing the layout of your site, so now that you know how exactly your website should look, you should start building your website. It’s always a good idea to start coding the mobile layout and then slowly build on it. Also, it is better to have a single page for all the layouts rather than having multiple pages for different width. But ultimately it’s your choice. If you’re comfortable starting with desktop first approach, you can go ahead with that as well.

4. Techniques available

Today, you have tons of options you can choose from, to make a website responsive. Every option has its own pros and cons. Few of them are listed below:

  • Media Queries: These are used when you want to modify your site or app depending on a device’s general type such as print / screen, or specific characteristics and parameters such as screen resolution or browser viewport width. There are two ways for you to use this. First, you can use @media rule inside a CSS file and then import it in our HTML file. Second is, you can import a stylesheet using @import rule, or by linking to a separate style sheet from within the HTML document.
  • Relative Viewport Lengths: CSS3 has introduced few relative unit lengths. They are relative to the browser’s viewport length. They are useful when you want the width or height of a particular element to vary depending on the browser viewport. Some of them are vh, vw, vmin, vmax, vi, and vb.
  • CSS Flexbox and grid: Life of a web developer before flexboxes and grids wasn’t so easy. We had to use tables, floats, positioning, Etc., to place elements and make them responsive. But after these were introduced building a responsive site has become a lot easier. Using these you can also align the elements in equal gaps or centre, vertically and horizontally without using JavaScript and a lot of code.

5. Image Optimization

When it comes to images, obviously image size in a mobile layout is different from that in a PC layout. So it is not a good idea to embed the same large image in mobile view. Solution to this resolution switching problem is using  srcset attribute. Here you have to provide few additional source images along with hints to help the browser pick the right one. It basically defines the set of images we will allow the browser to choose between, and what size each image is, so the browser decides which image to choose depending on the viewport.

Responsive design makes your website user-friendly, thus attracting users to your site, helping your business grow quickly. Keep the above steps in mind while developing your site, and you are all good to go. Happy coding! : )

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