Great websites are hard to design, develop, and maintain. If you think that once you have the website up and running that you are free to go about your daily tasks, you are wrong. Your website needs new content on a regular basis. And the website needs to be checked for typos, spacing errors, functioning hyperlinks, social media functionality, outdated event postings, and so on. And the website needs to be looked at on different screens. Does your website look good on an oversized computer monitor, a regular computer monitor, a 15-inch laptop, a 13-inch laptop, a 12-inch laptop, a 10-inch tablet, a 7-inch tablet, and a 4-inch smartphone screen?

Is anyone in your organization doing those audits and doing them on a regular basis?

Responsive Web Design

All of those tasks need to be performed regularly but today, we are going to focus on Responsible Web Design which allows websites to look good on all different monitors, devices, and browsers. In short, responsive means the website responds to the viewer’s screen size and browser so that it still looks great.

Approximately half of your audience will likely be looking at your site using a phone or tablet. Interestingly, you are probably looking at other websites using your phone on a regular basis but you may not be doing that with your own website. It is most common that the person posting on the website will use a desktop or laptop to do that and so the only time they actually look at their own website is with those computers. So, when was the last time you looked at your website on a phone or tablet?

Responsive web design is used by most content management systems today. The template nature of CMS lends itself very well to a responsive design that will behave the same on all of your webpages. It allows your content to be seen by all the different types of screens and browsers.

For example, a good responsive web design would show your website on the computer as having 3 columns and the task bar on top to allow viewers to pick and choose where to go. In the phone, people will scroll down rather than across. So those 3 columns get placed one after the other vertically on a phone. On a tablet, it may be 2 columns, depending on the size. If you check your website on your phone and do not find it intuitive to find the content, or you are scrolling horizontally instead of vertically, or the images are not sized properly, you may not be using a good responsive web design.

You knew we were going to bring up Google didn’t you? Google understands how important it is for your website to look good on different screen sizes. If it isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s not going to rank as well.

A responsive web design can be complicated but is essential for making sure half of your audience returns to your site. Checking your website on different screens is a quick way to see if your website is using a responsive web design. And if it is not, contact Zeal Access at brad@zealaccess.com or jim@zealaccess.com and we will be happy to provide you with some options to improve your site.