What is Responsive Design?

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Websites That Can be Viewed on What Your Users are Using 

When people first were able to view websites on their phones, it was often a messy endeavor. Things were too small or too big or just didn’t fit right. Viewers worked around it with scrolling, manual zooming, and other awkward solutions. However, the across-the-board fix to this problem came a few years ago thanks to the introduction of responsive design.

The first generation of mobile websites were based on a physically separate set of files. The server detected the browser and user’s screen size and output based on that. Responsive design integrates this into one build so that content is single sourced. It naturally scales everything — layout, images, font size — to adjust to that particular browser width. This is particularly useful in the smartphone market, as screen sizes and resolutions change from manufacturer to manufacturer, phone to phone.

However, it’s not just about scaling down. Desktop monitors offer huge variation now. The standard size matches a laptop monitor but with oversize screens as well as older systems in place for the less tech savvy and you’ve got both big and small to contend with. Responsive design offers as much user coverage as possible based on the many different combinations of screen options so that you can focus on content rather than trying to please every monitor that comes your way.


By Marc Apple

Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.


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