There is a hot new trend called responsive web design that has taken hold of websites the world-over. The reasons for this trend should not come as a shock to anyone, however it’s importance may send a shiver down the spine of website owners without a responsive web design.
The image your business and blog portrays to your online audience is largely determined within the first 5 seconds – that is, the look and feel of your web design.
Your website’s design should not be judged solely on it’s look on a desktop monitor. Any good web designer knows to test their design in the top 4 web browsers and across multiple devices – laptop, phone and tablet. Test for speed, responsiveness and ease-of-use.
“74% of mobile visitors will abandon a site if it takes more than 5 seconds to load.”Share This Quote:
Choosing the right template is the first critical step that we discussed in Premium WordPress Themes Vs Free WordPress Themes.
Responsive Web Design
Designing a website that works across all devices has become a whole lot easier with responsive web design techniques and best practices. When done correctly, your website is optimized across multiple devices, including desktop, tablet and smartphone, all in one design.
The Shift To Mobile
“There are 2.1 billion mobile-broadband subscriptions and growing rapidly.”Share This Quote:
“45% of American adults have a smartphone, used by 90% of them to go online.”Share This Quote:
“31% of smartphone owners use it to go online more often than computer or other device.”Share This Quote:
“American consumers spend 1.4 hours per day surfing the web on a mobile device.”Share This Quote:
If your website design looks horrible on a smartphone or tablet, you’re missing out on potential readers and customers.
What Makes A Design Responsive
One of the most obvious visual differences between a non-responsive and a fully responsive web design is the use of a grid system of “floating boxes”.
If you are reading Inscribd on a desktop, try re-size the window width of your browser. You will notice our responsive design re-sizes the width of the content panels and pushes the right-hand column below the content when space is further restricted.
This fluidity is the core ingredient in responsive web design.
Another neat trick in responsive web design is the re-sizing of images and also loading smaller, more optimized images to suit the display size.
Images can be sized dynamically to prevent them from displaying outside of their containing element.
5 Key Design Elements Of Every Website
1. The Masthead
At the very top of your website is the masthead. This section contains your logo and the navigation menu.
Your menu system also needs to be responsive to different widths. Drop-down menus need to function properly across all devices.
A common design trick is to have the menu overlay on top of the main content, showing the menu in the full screen size of the device. This makes for easier navigation on smartphones.
Generally, better designs keep the masthead small in height and very simple to use. This keeps the focus on your primary content.
2. Image Gallery or Featured Image
Unless your design is full text-based, it is more likely you will have an image gallery or a featured image to crown your blog articles or show off your product/service.
When using an image gallery, your slideshow also needs to be responsive and function on different devices. Make sure to test your plugin or scripts accordingly.
3. Primary Content
A headline should appear either above or below the image gallery/featured image. Make sure readers know what to expect to find in the primary content.
Read 3 Simple Ways To Increase Headline Click-Through Rates.
Your primary content area needs to be clear and uncluttered so that readers can focus on your content.
Make sure floating share buttons are not too intrusive, or that they only show up towards the bottom of your page.
4. Auxiliary Content
Below your primary content, it’s a good idea to offer readers some options of what to read next.
You can offer a list of recent articles, related products, or a form to encourage subscriptions to your newsletter.
The bottom of your website should not be ignored. The footer should hold important links to contact you, terms of service, and/or a quick sitemap of your website.
The footer should also provide a link that takes the reader back to the top of the page, just for convenience.
If you’re looking for pre-made responsive web design WordPress themes check out iThemes.