Responsive Design - No Extra $$$ For A Separate Mobile Website!

Earlier in the development of the Internet a business person interested in an online storefront only had to deal with one basic format, the desktop computer. Sure it might have been a laptop and/or a Mac or Linux variety but every customer was looking at your webpage from a desktop type computer.

Then there was the .mobi sites, remember them? Now you get to code one page for customers looking at your wares on a desktop/laptop computer and then code a completely separate page for people looking at you wares on their 'smart phone'.

Then Tablets of various size & specification entered the playing field. {At this point if nothing happened the average small business person would have had to code 4-5 different websites and maintain them all somewhat separately. Talk about time kill.}

Fortunately this turn of events motivated some really smart people & RESPONSIVE DESIGN was created as a result.

What Is RESPONSIVE DESIGN & How Can It Help Me?

You are looking at it.

On your desktop or laptop computer, take your browser out of full screen by clicking on the two boxes in between the dash and the x in the upper right corner of your browser.


Now your browser should be out of full screen. If it just went into full screen click it again.

Everyone should now be out of full screen

Now grab the website by the bottom right hand corner and slowly shrink it.

Notice how the page rearranges as the screen size gets smaller & smaller?

Welcome to RESPONSIVE DESIGN. One website for ALL devices.







Show Me A Website That Doesn't Use RESPONSIVE DESIGN!

If you site does not employ RESPONSIVE design and your customers are using a device with a small screen they will only see the upper left corner of your website and will have to 'drag' and 'pinch' to the content they want to see.

Some organizations choose to spend extra money to create a special app to view their website. If you choose this approach you now have two websites to maintain and there is no guarantee that your customer will go to the extra effort to download and install 'another free app' just to find some information!

A Personal Experience:

I am a big fan of BBC for world news. At one time I even downloaded their free app but I uninstalled it because it was more of a pain then dragging & pinching. And I suspect that since they created the mobile app their developers stopped looking at the main page with mobile devices because at times it's a really lousy experience (at least for me and my device). Just trying to get to the Most Popular/Read section can be an exercise in frustration (for some reason the site gets into a loop and when you hit the Read tab it reloads the page back to the Shared tab.)

In all fairness to the BBC, the itouch I am using is old and the IOS on it is old. In fact the IOS is so old I can not even try the latest BBC app without 1st upgrading the itouch.

But that's really the point.

You can not control what your potential customer might do. You can't force them to use your app or even update their device. The bottom line is that if the website frustrates me too much when trying to gather my morning news I simply go to another news website.

Don't frustrate your potential customers. Keep it simple. One website for all devices.

Which Would You Rather Look At?


Responsive Design              Non-Responsive Design
ResponsiveDesign.png  NOT-ResponsiveDesign.png


NOTE: Since Responsive Design by definition RESPONDS to the elements on the website, extra wide elements (images, tables, url, etc) can make the display wider than the viewing screen. Responsive Design responds by creating horizontal scroll bars to make all the content viewable.

This is easily remedied & should not be considered a failure of responsive design. If you put a 20 foot ladder in the back of a pick-up truck, the ladder is going to stick out the back. Similarly if you place an image on your website and specify a width of 800 pixels, the image is going to stick out on the side our your smart phone or any device that is smaller than 800 pixels wide!


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Websites 4 Small Business, designs, builds and hosts websites. We specialize in small business websites.

When it's possible, practical and cost effective, we use Open Source off the shelf software to get your site up and running fast. Our philosophy is simple:

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