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What is a responsive website?

People interested in creating websites have often encountered the term responsive website or the abbreviation RWD. What does this mean exactly? What is a responsive website and why is it so important today?

Websites on mobile devices and computers

Let’s start with what is most important. Responsive websites are closely related to the increasing share of mobile devices in Internet access. Many people’s smartphones and tablets are replacing the old computers and laptops. They have high computing power, comfortable touch screens and a lot of additional functions, such as cameras, wireless and cloud printing, as well as contactless payments. The disadvantage of this way of using the Internet for some time was the screen much smaller than in computer monitors. This was especially troublesome when browsing the web.

The same version that looked good on the full screen, the phone’s display was hardly readable, difficult to access and cumbersome to use and navigate. It was necessary to enlarge parts of the page, which did not always bring good results, especially if the page was badly coded and “ran away”.

The progenitor of responsive websites – mobile website

The so-called mobile sites. It was a mirror version of the basic page, preceded by the letter m in the URL address. In fact, the mobile site had to be rewritten from scratch with code changes to accommodate smaller screens.

It was not a perfect solution. Why?

  • Mobile websites were expensive and time-consuming to produce,
  • Two versions of the website needed to be updated – basic and mobile,
  • Problems with addresses – despite the existence of the mobile version, few people knew about them or were unable to edit the website address, adding the letter m at the beginning,
  • Problems with positioning mobile pages – mobile pages were completely separate pages, and thus they were positioned separately from the basic version of the page, it was a real worry and made it difficult to build an SEO strategy.

How was this problem dealt with?

The solution turned out to be the RWD technology, i.e. the responsive web design technology. A responsive website automatically changes its appearance, depending on the size of the screen on which it is displayed. A responsive website has the ability to automatically identify the device on which it was run and depending on it, loads the appropriate, previously defined style sheet, i.e. style.css. They support all popular screen sizes – in smartphones, tablets and laptops. It is thanks to them that the same page may look different on each screen.

A responsive website in practice

When you display our website on your computer screen, you will see it in its original appearance. All items are displayed in full size as designed. However, when you display the same page on the smartphone screen, you will see some changes:

  • scaling images or their lack,
  • changing the content layout,
  • changing the size of clickable elements to make them easier to reach,
  • slimmer page, i.e. faster loading,
  • and many other more or less visible changes.

Responsive website – why is it important?

From the customer’s point of view, a responsive website provides his company with a lot of benefits. The most important of them are listed below.

Accessibility for users – RWD websites are liked by Internet users. Especially those who browse the internet using smartphones. Today, a responsive website is a standard that cannot be underestimated. The person who views the desktop version of the website on the phone will definitely leave it quickly. Irritated by difficult navigation, poor readability and outdated appearance, she may consider the company unreliable and not adapted to modern requirements. A responsive website is therefore an important element of the image campaign.

Google standards – you cannot ignore such an important issue as Google’s requirements and standards. Today, every company knows about the necessity of positioning a website or positioning a google business card. Google clearly defines the conditions that should be met by contemporary websites. One of them is responsiveness. A responsive website has a much greater chance of effective positioning, and thus occupying higher positions in the search results → reaching more people and acquiring new customers.