What is Responsive Design?
Simply put, responsive design is a term for websites that adapt their layout to best fit the screen-size of the device they're viewed on.
A three column website doesn't fit well on smartphone. So we design responsive websites to be fluid. A responsive design may have 2 or 3 columns on a desktop or laptop and 1 column when viewed on a smartphone.
Responsive vs Mobile
Traditional "mobile websites" are separate websites specifically designed for mobile devices. In the early days of mobile design, mobile sites were stripped down versions of the "full website". It was assumed the mobile was only for busy people on the go, and if they wanted the full experience they would come back on their desktop or laptop.
Many people now use their phones and tablets as their primary way of accessing the internet. There's a growing consensuses that we can't treat mobile devices as second-class citizens.
Responsive websites unifies all screens under one design. One website that adapts.
Static Width vs Responsive Design
For many years websites were designed with "static widths" meaning they had one size that didn't change. Web Designers designed websites to be a certain amount of pixels wide. Knowing that most screens were at least 800 pixels or 1024 pixels wide, they knew they could safely design website at that size and it would be viewable to almost everyone.
These days there are literally hundreds of different screens sizes. There are small phones, big phones, bigger phones: (sometimes called phablets), small tablets, big tablets, and various sized desktop screens. Common resolutions range from 320 pixels wide, to 1920 pixels wide. We can no longer expect a static size to work for everyone.
Responsive: Most Bang for your Buck
It would be impossible to create a website for every screen size, but we don't have to... All mobile sites are so some degree, responsive. They have to adapt their layout to various mobile phone screen sizes. The trouble with many mobile website is: you're left with 2 separate copies of your website. You have to pay to develop 2 different websites, which can be pretty expensive.
A Responsive design generally doesn't cost much more than a mobile website, but serves as both a desktop and mobile solution.
To learn more about how you can get a responsive design, call us at 800-627-4780.