Responsive web design is a method of developing and designing a website that will respond to the user’s screen size.  The method employs flexible layout structures and images that will scale to the size and orientation of a user’s device.  For example, a responsive website will scale down for smaller devices like cell phones and tablets and will scale up for larger devices like laptops and desktop computers.  Responsive websites also respond to the orientation of a mobile device, whether it is vertical or horizontal.

The Old Methods of Web Design

            The old method of creating ‘fixed-width’ websites left mobile user’s having to zoom in and scale the site manually in order to read text or see images.  Some of these websites may have been accompanied by separate mobile versions of the website that would load when detecting a mobile device.  Some websites would even have a different version of the website for each particular mobile device.  This was extremely cumbersome, however, as it left webmasters having to maintain multiple versions of a website and release new versions when new devices would come out, rather than just focusing on one main website.

The Benefits of Responsive Web Design

            The concept of responsive web design emerged as a solution to the ever-expanding mobile device market.  There was a need to accommodate for the various screen sizes out there and that could potentially exist in the future.  The principle is that one primary website should automatically adjust to all media and orientation.  This is accomplished by using what are known as fluid grid layouts which are sized with relative units such as percentages, rather than absolute units like pixels.

The web development team at West Press is here to help if you’re in need of a responsive website. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.