Responsive Web Design – WHAT?!

UntitledBe it a beginner or a seasoned professional, one thing that has been confusing everyone the world over is a ‘responsive web design’. Well, I admit it can be confusing. But only for those who haven’t tapped their creative side yet!

Time flies and something that had been a rare practice, has now become a norm. (Well, almost!) This is a very different way of designing websites and it represents the future. And from as far as I can see, it is going to be a trend in the ‘future’ of future too!

If you have been in hibernation for too long and have no idea about what is trending today, I suggest you take a look at this summary and catch up with the times.

What Is A Responsive Web Design?

Years ago, having a website was optional. But the ever changing trends forced all brands to have their own site to connect with their customers on a virtual platform as well. But that wasn’t the last of the changes, there was another – customers went mobile. So, how can websites possibly keep up with the millions of screen sizes out there? They can’t.

One solution that came up very soon: Responsive web design. And it would be sheer disrespect to not mention its creator, Ethan Marcotte. If you have no idea who the man is, I suggest you read his seminal article about responsive web design.

Responsive web design uses CSS media queries to offer different style properties depending on the device screen size, orientation, resolution, color capability and other characteristics. Using the responsive web design, a web page can adjust itself on the device it’s being displayed on.

Fluid Grids

3First off, everyone has got at least this part of their chemistry right – liquids take the shape of the container. Well, similarly a liquid layout takes the shape of the device it is being viewed on. The first thing about a responsive design is the usage of a fluid grid.

Instead of designing a layout with rigid pixels or arbitrary values, a fluid grid is designed proportionally. This makes sure all the elements of the layout resize in relation to one another, when a layout is squeezed. Here’s the math:

Even though there is so much calculation involved in creating a responsive web design, it has a breakdown point too. When the width of the browser becomes too narrow, the design seems to fall apart.

Media Queries          

The second important element of a responsive web design is the CSS3 media query. For those of you not familiar with CSS3 media: it allows you to gather data about the site visitor and use it to apply CSS styles. The main feature at work here is the min – width media feature which applies CSS styles according to the browser window size.

The set of pixel widths that your site should be able to adjust to are:

  • 320 px
  • 480 px
  • 600 px
  • 768 px
  • 900 px
  • 1200 px

Even though the design takes care of the looks that your site needs to maintain on different screens, your plugins need to be working efficiently too. So how do you go about designing the perfect responsive website and making sure the site is live at all times? By getting it hosted. Bloggers and site owners love Linux when it comes to hosting. So, get to work and look for Affordable Linux Web Hosting service providers.

Now that you have a general know how of a responsive web design, I’ll conclude what benefits it has in store for all the web designers out there.

  • One site for every device.
  • Optimal design for the device it is viewed on.
  • No need for redirects.

Creating one soon, I suppose?

Author bio:

With a degree in IT, Kathleen Collins has worked with the top hosting companies for over a decade. Currently she works with Hosting Reviewed providing an in-depth evaluation of the various hosting companies listed. You can follow her @ Twitter

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