Responsive Design Good and Bad
Technology and the internet have become entwined in a way that makes most of us ordinary users feel a deep pang of nostalgia for the days when everything was not so complicated. Just when you were sure that you had computers and simple website design figured out, along come Smartphones and iPads. Are the mom and pop eCommerce websites heading down the short road to obscurity? Not just yet, say the smartest people in the development field. Here comes Responsive Design: It is a process of design in an interactive theme that anyone can use which converts to phone size and other devices through media inquiries that detect resolution. This increases usability over a wide area of technology and devices.
This Is English… Right?
Responsive Design is a method of building a website so that it can be viewed on a variety of different devices and screen sizes. The technology is sound enough, once developers realized that they needed to look at web design from the user’s point of view. The device picks up a media rule inside the signal which tells the CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets III is CSS third generation) to step aside and allow the smaller image embedded within it to come to the forefront. There is a lot more to it than that, obviously, but that is the gist of how part of it is designed to show well on different screen sizes. There are good things coming out of this technology for future use.
The Good News in Responsive Design
- If you are an eCommerce mom and pop store with an old, outdated website, the good news is that you can redesign your site using Responsive Design to get your goods across to more people.
- As far as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is concerned, the longer you wait to use Responsive Design, the harder it will be to rank highly. It is not that your SEO techniques are no longer working, the reason is that more people are using the Responsive Design approach and search engines love websites that can reach people over numerous devices.
The Not So Good News about Responsive Design
- Responsive device technology is still young. It is not in its infancy, but it is a growing technology with advances at the rate of at least two major updates or more per year. This means that it is not perfect yet and not everyone is pleased with how some websites present in their mobile device or tablet.
- There are websites that have not quite used Responsive Design effectively, opting to go for the few website companies that allow you to build your own using their tools. The response time (the time it takes the data to load to your device) suffers greatly when the design is not done correctly. For this reason, it is almost always advisable to go with a professional website designer. It is one of the few professional services that pays for itself over the short term in traffic potential and sales.
- Trying to use Responsive Design can be infuriating and just downright confusing unless you are extremely careful and pay very close attention to the manual or white sheets supplied with the product.
A Word To The Unwise
The Responsive Design themes offered by even the most helpful of websites are not as easy as they make them sound. WordPress has a few very nice Themes that offer the user an interactive experience with Responsive Design. There a few others out there as well that offer a rich user experience but they are few in number. Many DNS sites such as Go Daddy have one or two as well that users can obtain upon sign up; but overall, we may have to wait a while longer before the technology reaches the everyday user point.
There are websites that allow you to build your website in a matter of minutes. They have been here for a very long time and aren’t going anywhere soon. This is not Responsive Design; Responsive Design is compatible with multiple devices with small screens and can be optimized for search engine ranking.
At this stage, even the ones mentioned here could be confusing so if you are considering using Responsive Design (and you should), your best bet is a Website Consultant that can do it right the first time while also maintaining best practice on all other aspects of search engine optimization.
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