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What Is Responsive Web Design? A Layman’s Guide

Every site today needs a separate version for every kind of device type. Sites must accommodate a 27-inch PC screen, a 6-inch phone, or a 12-inch tablet. Every screen requires specific sizes and proportions, and you want your site to be able to accommodate all of them.

This is where responsive web design comes in. If you’re new to this concept and are a little confused about what it is, don’t worry. We’ve compiled all the essential things you’ll need to know when making your site responsive.

So, what is responsive web design? Responsive web design is what will allow your visitors to browse your site using any device. In this article, we will talk about what it is, how it works, why you need it, and its pros and cons.


What Is Responsive Web Design?

Before learning what is responsive web design, you have to recognize the prevalence of many devices able to access the net. Because of this, the last thing you want is your users struggling to use a website with a design limited to one device. It’s also best to avoid setting up several websites for each size and type.

Instead, the best option is to have your website detect and adapt according to the device browsing it. We call this adaptive or responsive web design. Here,  websites resize themselves according to the screen’s size and orientation.

This gives the best experience for every user regardless of what device they’re using. This not only gives you less code to look after but also lets your site adapt to unforeseeable problems.

Your website should be able to accommodate any device and switch the display to fit the device screen. This includes other important details like image sizes, display resolution, and scripting. To have your site successful and easy to navigate, this isn’t only an option but rather a requirement.

Why You Need a Responsive Web Design?

Around 40% of people only browse on their phones and there are over 4 billion mobile internet users in total. Go ahead and check your site traffic, to count how many visitors go to your site using mobile devices. If you use responsive web design, you’ll be able to improve their user experience.

It’s also easier for you to only have one site tailored for every device. Have each design and HTML element optimized for the said device to increase visits. This ensures that there will be no need for redirects from one site to another, which lets your users get information without a hassle.

The technological world keeps evolving and produces tons of new gadgets and devices for people to use daily. It won’t solve all your site’s problems, but it will save you a lot of trouble when dealing with change.

As a web designer, bettering your user’s experience is something you should strive to achieve. It’s what keeps them coming back and ensures the quality of your website.

If you’d like to, you can check out some design options at to help you build your site.

How Does It Work?

Responsive web design consists of three important elements. A fluid grid, flexible images and text, and media queries.

A fluid grid is what makes your design scalable and flexible. It’s what makes the whole page adapt to the size of the screen used. A fluid grid will update the proportions and spacings of the page, keeping it consistent throughout each device.

Meanwhile, flexible images and text ensure that your site is readable and has seamless flow. It’s what adapts your site’s line height and font size to cater to different device types. These adjust to the proportions set for the screen and either increase or decrease depending on what’s needed.

It uses queries which are the code that determines the flexibility of your site design. It reads the orientation and size of the screen and changes depending on the device’s breakpoint. These three elements together make for a responsive layout and create a fluid page.

Pros of a Responsive Web Design

To make sure that your site is nice and optimized, you’ll want some extra hands to build the best experience. However, not everyone has the opportunity or funds to pay for huge amounts of labor. This is where responsive web design comes in.

The biggest pro of responsive web design is how much time and effort you save. The updates you make to your site only need implementation in one version. The whole process becomes easier and simpler when you don’t have to make more stylesheets.

Cons of a Responsive Web Design

Prolonged load time is a common problem that your users may come across. This is especially so if your users have a mobile device with limited power. Having the site process and load in all the elements could take longer.

Resizing the images and text of your site can leave a big impact on how long your users will have to wait. Some older mobile devices also don’t support media queries. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem given the constant OS updates, but it’s still something you might want to consider.

Take Advantage of a Responsive Web Design Today!

At the end of the day, making all your users enjoy a great experience on your site is your goal. In the long run, it’ll save you a lot of frustration and help you avoid doing more work. More work might end up costing you more and taking up more of your time.

We hope that you now have a better understanding of responsive web designs. From what it is, why you need it, and how it works. There’s always plenty more to learn but hopefully, you were able to get a better grasp.

Now you’ve learned what is responsive web design and how it can increase your site’s visitors. If you found this article helpful, don’t hesitate to check out the rest of our site. There you can find further useful information about web design and more.

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