How to Make Sure You Have a Responsive Website
Technology has come a long way in the last ten to fifteen years. Back in the day, screen size used to be a bit of an issue but not much. Download times were slower than a sleeping tortoise because there were dial up connections and we all had to settle for simple designs and small, quickly downloadable images.
Thankfully things changed quite quickly. Technology improved, we developed new devices and super-fast connections like broadband and Wi-Fi were invented. All this innovation, though, has made it a little trickier for anyone who wants to produce a website that every visitor can see using whichever device they are accessing it on.
Here are our top five things to look out for if you want a fully responsive website.
Resizing for the screen
In other words do you look good whichever device your potential customer is looking at your website on? There are big interactive screens, tablets, pcs, smartphones and, more recently, wristwatches, all of which we can use to connect and visit our favourite sites. What looks good on the big screen doesn’t necessarily translate well to a small one so you need to check, if you haven’t done already, how your existing site looks on different devices.
Fast page downloads
A desktop pc has a bigger operating system and is able to cope with larger files than a smartphone. Whichever device your customer is viewing your site on, the information needs to download quickly. Time and again we find sites that have slower downloads of pages lose customers because people simply hate to wait. Having too much information, large files and over complex design can all drag out the time it takes for a page to appear. And if a site takes a while to come up on a desktop, you can bet your bottom dollar the problem will be exacerbated on something smaller like a mobile.
There’s nothing worse on a smartphone when you have two or three links close together, especially if you have big fingers. Again it comes to what looks good on the big screen can often appear entirely different on a small one. Make sure that your links are spaced well and that there is enough area for people to use their touch screens without having to fiddle about too much. This can be a problem with devices such as tablets where on many sites side menus can take a few presses before you hit the right link or get a response.
Go bigger and simpler for small screens
The smaller the screen the simpler you need to go. Check out a site like Amazon and then have a look at their mobile app and you’ll see what we mean. The essence for smartphone screens and even tablets is that you need to present your information as clearly as possible so that you get the best response for your customer. That may well mean having, for instance, bigger select and buy buttons, more uniform ordering of posts and more intuitive ways of viewing images.
And finally, are you missing something?
The problem with adapting your website so that it is responsive on different devices is that you may well miss something out. This is particularly relevant if you run an e-commerce site where customers need to easily access different services. In your rush to downsize and simplify you may well miss out vital tools or information so it’s a good idea to give everything a test run to make sure that your brand identity and your provision are all catered for properly.