What is Responsive Web Design?

 
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It sounds fancy, but what does it mean? When websites were first being created, developers made them for desktops. Once smartphones and tablets were introduced, the websites made for desktops didn’t always work right: images were cut off, websites took too long to load, some websites didn’t work at all on mobile. As a response to the mobile market, developers started creating separate mobile-dedicated sites, which generally had a separate URL (usually m.website.com instead of www.website.com). Finally, after the majority of businesses and developers realized that mobile was the future, the idea was created for a website design that adapts or “responds” to the device being used, thereby introducing Responsive Web Design (RWD).

It can get pretty technical in how it works, but the idea is to create the same usability and satisfaction regardless of the device being used. Images and text render to accommodate any screen size (or “viewing environment”, if you prefer that term). This is especially useful since every new phone seems to have a different screen size.

Responsive web design became even more standard in 2015 when Google announced that their new search algorithm will give priority to mobile-friendly sites in their SERPs (search engine results pages).

These days, responsive web design is pretty standard, with all of the major website builders offering mostly responsive templates. Still, when designing your website, don’t just assume it will look good in mobile. Test out images and content to make sure you are creating the best user experience possible.