More than ever, mobile devices including cellular phones, smartphones, netbooks, and tablets have become increasingly popular for web browsing. Until responsive design was introduced, sites, that were designed for PC displays using different browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer, were unreadable on mobile devices. Today, however, mobile web access is not only possible, but also easy and stress free for sites that use responsive web designs. These designs have adjustable layouts and scalable images that can adapt to any type of mobile device settings. With a responsive website design, companies can expand the reach of their businesses and websites to targeted traffic.
A fluid grid is one of the key ideas behind a responsive web design. This design allows layouts to fit or adapt to any screen size, from PCs to tiny mobile devices. By equally resizing in width, all the elements in a given layout will be visible in any type of device. Fluid grids work hand in hand with CSS3 media queries in responsive web designs. The media queries are supported by a wide selection of browsers, and they basically enable you to collect information or data from the site user. CSS styles can then be conditionally applied using the collected data.
Without a responsive website design, a website owner will have to give prospective visitors with alternative URLs for accessing the web using different devices. This could be inconveniencing and time-consuming for many users who are seeking quick and easy access to online information. With a responsive design, you will only create your website once, as the designing process includes formatting the site to be compatible on different platforms and operating systems. All these are made through fluid grids, media queries, and flexible layouts.
There are many advantages for having a responsive web design. You will not have to supply your prospective visitors with multiple URLs for accessing the web on different devices. Multiple URLs means multiple websites. Maintaining all these websites could be tedious and very expensive. Also, a responsive web design keeps you from spending extra money on designing multiple websites for supporting different devices. When you want to make changes to your current website, having a responsive web design will allow you to make alterations to only one design. A mobile web design, on one hand, will need you to make specific changes to all the multiple websites you own. Building a responsive web design also increases your chances for greater ROI, since your website will become uniformly user-friendly across different devices.
However, a responsive website design is not without its limitations or disadvantages. In certain cases, a responsive design will need you to download unnecessary markup. This will prolong your download time and take up extra server space. Also, having designs that are specifically built for certain mobile devices have in some cases proved a better option to having a responsive design. With these facts in place you can choose whether to undertake a responsive or mobile design for your website.