Is Your Website Still Not Responsive?

responsive_site

“Responsive design this. Mobile-friendly that. UX-focused every day of the week.”

If you have a website or are in the general business of connecting with people over the Internet, you’ve probably heard this phrase repeated ad nauseam: You need to make your website responsive.

But, wait a tick, what’s the big deal with having a responsive site? Is it really that important, or is it some web design fad? Before we answer the question, let’s make sure we know what we’re talking about when we say “responsive web design.”

Responsive Design Defined

A responsively designed website gives visitors the best possible experience from a viewing and interactive standpoint, no matter the device being used. More simply put, your site looks good – like really good – regardless of whether you’re browsing on a desktop, tablet, laptop, or microwave (well, maybe not your microwave).

This is achieved by constructing and coding the site in such a way that the content of the page – the words, images, links, and widgets –fluidly adjusts to provide an appealing, if not optimal, browsing experience across a wide range of devices.

RWD in Action

Use your mouse to resize the width of your browser window. Smoosh it as tight as it will allow. Notice how the menu bar collapses, images stack, and copy condenses. Now, stretch the window across your entire desktop. The page nicely expands out to keep a consistent look and offer the best experience. Voila! Responsive web design.

Now, you might be thinking, “That’s neat, but what’s the big deal?”

I’m glad you asked, fictional-yet-inquisitive reader.

Aside from making your website look glorious on everything from a movie screen to the tiniest tablet, there are plenty of good reasons to make sure you transition your website to responsive web design.

SEO, Don’t You Know

First and foremost, responsive web design can have a very real impact on your SEO. In fact, Google has confirmed that it prefers responsive web design when indexing sites for searches. This isn’t news, either. Google introduced their mobile algorithm on April 21, 2015, making the shift to mobile-friendly, responsive web design even more important (and overdue).

There are a couple reasons for this but, long story short, an unresponsive site means multiple sites for multiple devices, a less-than-stellar user experience, and unnecessary and inefficient indexing of web content. That all adds up to a hit in SEO.

By having a responsive website, it’s easier for Google to crawl and index content from one URL instead of gathering it from multiple sites. Not only that, but responsive design also provides a better experience for viewers, giving you another positive SEO bump.

On Any Device, It’s Really Nice

Along with boosting SEO, responsive web design can help your website survive in our increasingly mobile world.

More and more, ordinary folk are turning away from their desktop-bound computers and using the technological marvels of our pocket internet machines to access the web. According to Marketpath,  55% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices.

But with mobile browsing comes many perils.

As many have experienced, trying to navigate a website designed for a 36-inch monitor on a smartphone’s miniscule screen can be described as annoying at best. In fact, that’s the kind of experience that convinces people to leave a site and never come back.

In the days of old, companies would combat this problem by creating two or more versions of their website to support both desktop and mobile browsing. But this solution brought its own issues. As you can imagine, supporting, updating, and managing two site with essentially the same content can be a headache. And other annoyances, such as differing URLs, inefficient use of resources, and more, only add to the problem.

Responsive web design solves all those problems in one fell swoop. Not only can a responsive site automatically adjust to match the device accessing it, but it also fosters a positive user experience, especially in the age of mobile browsing.

Basically, Responsive Web Design Rocks

The simple truth is that responsive web design is important for your web presence. Not only do you get the benefit of a fluid, flexible design that can work across devices, but you also get a site that bolsters SEO, a better experience for your visitors, and fewer headaches by managing one site.

If your site isn’t responsive yet, do it now. It’s well worth the investment. And if you need help figuring out how to get your new site put together or up and running, the tech team at the C-3 Group is happy to help.

HTML5, CSS3 and YOU

You may be asking yourself what this HTML5 is all about and why you were unaware that there was even a HTML 1-4. Or you may not even know what HTML or CSS is, and this is already too confusing. Considering all possibilities, I’ll start with the basics.

HTML is the underlying structure of all websites. It is the code that your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc) must interpret and decide how to show you a web page.

CSS aka Cascading Style Sheets is the set of “rules” applied to HTML code. So when you see some text on a page that is red or a box of text with a background or border, this is most likely some rules applied to the code telling the browser how to style those various elements on a page. Easy, no?

So why is HTML5 so important?

Well, for starters, there has been a huge backing behind HTML5 from major companies such as Apple, Google, and even Microsoft has jumped on board with IE9. Pushing towards a single standard means big things in the web-world, especially when HTML hasn’t seen much modification since 1997. This is a huge leap from a technology standpoint.

Among the new additions are a few that grab most developer’s attention. Better mobile compatibility, embedding media without a plugin, and new coding elements just to name a few.

Similarly, CSS3 is being used side-by-side with HTML5. CSS3 includes new rules which can be applied to elements such as rounded corners and drop shadows, all without having to use graphics. CSS3 can also apply a different set of rules depending on what size screen is viewing a page using newfangled things called media queries. Do you need to display 3 columns of content on a desktop HD screen, but want to stack those columns vertically on a mobile phone? Not a problem, CSS3 can handle it.

What does this mean for me?

Source: xkcd.com

If you aren’t concerned about what goes on behind the scenes and just want your browser to show you websites, you’re in luck. With most modern, up-to-date browsers supporting HTML5 and CSS3, you will be greeted with a much more standard and streamlined experience. Whether you are browsing on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, HTML5 will cause much fewer headaches caused by installing plugins, non-standard content and incompatible websites.

Have a blog or a website with updates or news? Updating your HTML code to support new code elements such as <section> <article> and <header> you will largely improve your SEO when search engines like Google and Bing can understand your site’s structure that much more.

Are you in charge of a website for a business? Making sure you or your programmers/designers take advantage of the new features in HTML5 and CSS3 will further ensure your website is ahead of the pack when it comes to compatibility with various devices, increase your visibility to search engines with SEO improvements, and will make certain your customers can access your content anytime, anywhere without any hassles.

So that’s all, huh?

I know it’s a lot to take in, but in the long-run just knowing that new things are on the horizon is a step in the right direction. Designing for the web isn’t easy, but HTML5 and CSS3 are making things much easier, and in the end all of us will benefit from it.

If you want to know more about HTML5 and CSS3 and see what they can really do, check out some of the links below.

Dive Into HTML5
HTML5 and The Future of the Web
CSS3 Previews
Get Started With CSS3