252--Web design: how to make sure your website is responsive_ref_index

Web design: how to make sure your website is responsive

Whether you’re walking down the street, riding the bus or eating dinner at a new restaurant, it’s become common to see those around you plugged into their phones or tablets.  More often than not, people browsing your website are checking it out on their mobile device. But, what does this mean for how responsive your website actually is?

Having a mobile-friendly site that loads quickly and is responsive is important to how users interact with it. Not only will users appreciate it, but it affects how you rank on Google algorithms, meaning it will affect how many visitors your site gets in the first place. Curious how to make your website more responsive on all platforms? Read on!

Here’s how to make sure your website is responsive!

What exactly is web responsiveness?

source: unsplash

In a nutshell, the responsiveness of a website refers to how it interacts with the size of the screen it's being viewed on. Your web page should be able to correctly adapt to respond to various screen sizes, and this entails not having to zoom in or scroll sideways to read an entire text, view images or interact with menus, links and so on. The experience of your users is key to the success rate of your website, and in turn, your business.

For this reason, it is important to consider the aspects of your website beyond converting a desktop screen to be visible on a smartphone. The user experience and the way that users can interact with your website is all about the important content being immediately visible as well as how this content can be manipulated and viewed. 

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How to test website responsiveness

One of the easiest ways to test the responsiveness of your website is to use your desktop browser. Try shifting and changing the browser window to new dimensions. What happens when you do this? If your site is responsive, the layout will transform to fit any size window. Another simple test to perform is by checking the same website on your smartphone or even on your television.

Try looking at the site in different devices or browsers, as it is important to bear in mind that what may look nice on a brand new iPhone 7 might not look the same on an older Android phone. Responsive design is something constantly evolving over time, and for this reason, your website may not look good on every single device immediately.

An emulator is another way you can test for website responsiveness. There are various tools online that can assist you in the process. These tools all work in different ways, and each one will monitor a different aspect of your site. For this reason, try out a few different ones and see what findings you come up with regarding your website's response levels. Also worth mentioning is that it is important to not rely on emulators alone. 

Tools to help make sure your website is responsive

source: unsplash

Since there are no standard website dimensions, and there are hundreds of devices on the market, your website should be able to conform to as many as possible. As mentioned, there are a few different tools you can use to check the responsiveness of your website. Below, we'll go over a few and list their key functions:

Responsinator: This tool will allow you to preview your website in any style browser, including different URL resolutions and simulating different device views.

Screenfly: Like Responsinator, Screenfly offers various screen resolutions for you to test out your website. This tool also allows you to check how your website will look when users are scrolling on different devices, allowing you to navigate your website from the perspective of the browser. There are plenty of different settings including different brands of tablets, smartphones and even the television.

Google resizer: This is an easy-to-use and quick resource for you to view your website on multiple devices.

Fluid grids: Fluid grids work by allowing web designers to layout a site based on percentage values in place of sets of pixels, working with scalable figures. When applying dimensions to different devices, the elements in the design layout should resize in relation to one another. 

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