What is a Responsive Website?

Written by Sophie

Nowadays, nearly everything we do is online in some capacity. As a business it’s extremely important to have a good online presence in order to connect with your customers – be that through reviews, social media pages or via your own website.

 Not only are there tons of different potential online platforms, how we access those platforms also varies massively. A large percentage of online traffic these days comes from mobile devices – tablets, phones, and even watches. All of these have different screen dimensions and potential orientations for display. 

When you use a social media platform – such as Facebook, X or Instagram, they take care of how your content displays for you. When it comes to your own website, however – you’re the one in charge. This is why responsive web design is so important to consider, to ensure that your content looks consistent and great across all of your platforms.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Simply put – Responsive web design is all about making your website work on a variety of displays. A responsively designed website will look just as good on a tiny mobile phone screen as it would a giant TV screen in a stadium.  

Responsive design allows for flexibility in the layout. It allows chunks of your content to re-flow itself on the screen to fit the space better when a screen is either minimised or expanded. This is especially important when designing things for mobile phones, as a majority of their displays are portrait. Trying to squeeze a landscape Desktop view website onto a mobile phone screen only results in a messy and inaccessible experience for your end user – which is not what you want!

Most modern web and software applications follow a design principle known as ‘mobile first’. This is precisely what it sounds like: you start with the design on the smallest screen, then expand it to fit across larger screen sizes. This way, you’ll always know that your content will fit no matter where it’s displayed.

How can I make my website more responsive?

There are a variety of ways you can make your website more responsive. Firstly, you can be mindful of where you put the elements on your website. Much like when printing something – if you put important content too close to the edge of a page, it runs the risk of getting chopped off. Try to keep your content centred as much as possible, to give it some breathing room either side that can be broken into.

If you build a website using a Content management system, such as Squarespace or WordPress, many of their prebuilt themes and templates come with responsive views built into them. These can be great, low-to-no code options – but these themes can also sometimes be restrictive due to the cookie-cutter nature of their design. You might find that some of your content doesn’t quite display how you wanted it to, and it can be difficult to alter without editing the template itself. 

Working with a designer is the best way to ensure that your website looks great across multiple platforms. A good designer can create bespoke layouts for multiple screen breakpoints, which makes sure that your content will behave consistently no matter what size screen it’s loaded on. 

They can also prototype your website, giving you the opportunity to preview certain website features like animations and screen transitions. This can be helpful when building new pages or big features, as you can see how they’ll work before they get actively built, making it easier to change down the line! Once the designs are finished, A web developer can then take them and implement them, meaning you only need to worry about providing the content itself. 

At Brand Ambition, we offer a wide range of website support, content production & web design services. If you’re struggling with your website, and want to know how you can get the most out of it – get in touch with us. We’re happy to speak more about what it is you’re looking for, as well as any other marketing or branding support we can help you with!

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