What is a responsive website?

Russell Marbut poses for a picture at the Infomedia office

When a website is responsive, that means it responds to different screen sizes. There are many shapes and sizes of screens like phones, iPads, laptops and more. A responsive website will look good, work well and be legible on any screen.

There are some aspects of websites that may need to be dropped from the mobile version, such as long headlines and videos. You want to make sure that you’re getting to the point on your mobile site — some things won’t look as good on a phone browser because the screen is smaller and the internet connection is likely slower than it would be on a desktop.

When our developers build websites, they look at your website from many different screen sizes. If it’s necessary, they’ll hide certain elements or change the layout to make it more responsive. The easiest way to see what your website will look like on another screen is to drag your browser from one of the corners to make it smaller.

Not all browsers are exactly the same, so there are techniques that developers use to account for these differences. Generally, there aren’t tons of variants in the major browsers like Chrome and Firefox, but if you’re using a much older browser, there’s a good chance that you won’t see some things.

The easiest way to find out if your site is responsive is to visit your website on your phone (or drag your browser screen smaller like we mentioned earlier). If you have an iPad or another device that you can browse from, check those too.

Russell Marbut

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